Europe Lacks Urgency on Crisis, Italy Bank Head Says

European leaders need to act faster to back troubled lenders and support nations in distress, the head of Italy’s banking lobby said.

“Decisions aren’t being made with the urgency required by markets, even when solutions have already been indicated,” said Giuseppe Mussari, chairman of banking association ABI. “Europe must put measures in place that buy the time needed” for individual countries to make structural changes, Mussari said.

Italian banks including UniCredit SpA (UCG) and Intesa Sanpaolo SpA (ISP) have had their credit ratings downgraded as the country struggles with a recession and rising borrowing costs.

The lenders are now looking for European Union help after Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti got his EU counterparts to pledge support last month for plans to collectively finance sovereign bond purchases and recapitalize troubled banks.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Frye in Rome at afrye@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at jhertling@bloomberg.net

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