DAVOS, Switzerland Jan 23 (Reuters) - Italy’s banking system is stable and well capitalised, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday, adding that the state was nonetheless ready to jump in and help troubled domestic lender Carige if needed.
Addressing an audience at the annual Davos gathering, Conte said Italy’s banks had slashed back their non-performing loans over the past three years and had a low exposure to derivatives, unlike lenders in other countries.
“We are paying attention as a state (to Carige) because we want to protect financial stability and protect savers. So if it is necessary, we have a tool for state intervention,” Conte said, adding that a market solution would be preferred — either through a possible capital increase or a merger. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer, Editing by Giselda Vagnoni)