Decision on Monte Paschi rescue soon; Vicenza and Veneto next: ECB

A Monte dei Paschi di Siena advertisement is seen on a screen in a bank window in downtown Milan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – European authorities will soon decide on a public rescue plan for Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena <BMPS.MI> and are already working on similar requests from two smaller banks, the European Central Bank’s top supervisor said on Monday.

“There will soon be a decision on Monte Paschi,? the head of the ECB’s supervisory arm Daniele Nouy said.

Nouy added the ECB has already begun providing information to the European Commission on a “precautionary recapitalization” request for regional Italian lenders Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.

“We have already been in touch with European Commission,” Nouy said.

Asked whether this may involve a merger of the two banks, Nouy said: “The European Commission is in the driver’s seat on a restructuring plan.”

(Reporting by Francesco Canepa and Andreas Framke; editing by Balazs Koranyi)