March 15, 2013 / 5:56 PM / in 5 years

Banco Popolare loss rises after increased writedowns

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy’s number four lender Banco Popolare BAPO.MI said on Friday its full-year net loss widened compared to an earlier profit warning, after it made extraordinary writedowns in the fourth quarter.

A Banca Popolare di Lodi sign is seen in downtown Milan October 25, 2010. REUTERS/Stringer

The bank said it would post a full year loss of 627 million euros, compared to the 330 million euro loss it forecast as recently as March 4.

The cooperative bank said Friday it was forced to increase its writedowns after “new parameters suggested by regulators.” As expected, it had to write down consumer credit group Agos-Ducato, majority owned by France’s Credit Agricole (CAGR.PA), as expected.

On March 14, the Bank of Italy recommended that banks further increase provisions during recession and forgo dividends in the event of losses.

Banco Popolare on Friday confirmed Core Tier 1 at 10.1 percent, above the minimum target of 9 percent set by the European Banking Association.

Reporting by Jennifer Clark, editing by Antonella Ciancio

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