UniCredit's Chief Profumo Says Stress Tests Publication Is a 'Good Thing'

UniCredit SpA Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Profumo welcomed the Bank of Italy’s decision to publish the results of stress tests on the nation’s lenders.

“For countries with strong banks like Italy, it’s absolutely a good thing,” Profumo told reporters at the sidelines of a conference in Rome. “I think it’s a good thing for all, and certainly it’s something important for Italy.”

The Italian central bank’s announcement today came after an agreement by European Union leaders to publish the results of stress tests on major banks by the end of July to boost confidence in financial institutions. EU leaders also agreed yesterday to pursue a banking levy and a financial transaction tax that would apply worldwide to ensure fair burden-sharing and rein in systemic risks.

Profumo said plans for a bank tax are “deeply wrong,” favoring the introduction of a fund to support troubled lenders.

“I think it would be opportune to contribute to a fund, which may be able to intervene in a situation of difficulty,” he said.

Banking shares have been among the biggest decliners in Europe this year amid the region’s sovereign debt crisis. UniCredit has dropped 17 percent in the period, compared with an 8.6 percent retreat in the 52-member Bloomberg Europe Banks and Financial Services Index.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net; Lorenzo Totaro in Rome at ltotaro@bloomberg.net

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