April 2, 2019 / 11:59 AM / in 3 months

Italy to pass decree on Thursday to reimburse savers hit by bank rescues: source

ROME (Reuters) - The Italian government plans to pass a decree on Thursday finally to reimburse savers who suffered losses in bank rescues and expects it to be approved by European Union authorities, a government source said on Tuesday.

A string of banking crises in recent years handled under new EU rules that imposed losses on investors have left thousands of ordinary Italians out of pocket.

Italy’s ruling coalition, comprising the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the far-right League, has lambasted EU banking regulators for an alleged lack of supervision and for making small savers foot the bill.

Rome has earmarked 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) over the coming three years to repay shareholders and bond holders who lost out in bank rescues between Nov. 16, 2015 and Jan. 1, 2018.

The repayment scheme needs the green light of the EU Commission which wants that either an arbiter or a court assess each individual case.

The source said that under the government plan investors with an annual income of no more 35,000 euros as calculated by the Isee indicator, which is used to estimate the economic situation of single workers and families, and real estate assets worth a maximum 100,000 euros, should be compensated for their losses automatically.

A commission made up of independent members named by the Economy Ministry will decide on a case-by-case basis whether other categories of investors should be compensated for being missold bonds in ailing banks.

“All those norms should silence the EU Commission,” the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, Writing by Giselda Vagnoni, Editing by Crispian Balmer

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