Bank of Italy merger veto curbs ambitions of banks

ITALY - Bank of Italy Governor Antonio Fazio's continued opposition to mergers between leading Italian banks is proving to be a big drag on the sector as domestic mergers and acquisitions are the only way Italian banks can grow to catch up with larger European rivals.

While Spanish, French and German rivals have snapped up competitors to become leading European players, there isn't an Italian group among Europe's top 10 banks by assets or market capitalisation.

"Italian banks have their backs t