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Ministry of Economy and FinanceCSSF: SOUND ITALIAN FINANCIAL SYSTEM - LOAN GROWTH SLOWING DOWN

Press Release N° 41 of 03/12/2009

The �Financial Stability Safeguard Committee' has met today to consider the most recent developments of the tension on international and domestic financial markets.

The meeting, chaired by Minister of the Economy and Finance Giulio Tremonti, was attended by Banca d'Italia's Director General Fabrizio Saccomanni, Treasury Director General Vittorio Grilli, the Chairman of insurance industry supervisory body ISVAP Giancarlo Giannini and the Chairman of stock market regulator CONSOB Lamberto Cardìa.

The regulatory authorities reported to the Committee on the evolution of the financial crisis and confirmed to the Minister that the Italian financial system is substantially sound.

The Banca d'Italia showed the trend in lending to companies in the present economic situation. The growth in bank loans is still slowing down. Growth over the last three months, which reflects the recent trend in lending, remains, in Italy, slightly above that of the euro-area. The tightening up on lending criteria applicable to companies and families is expected to loosen up over this quarter, say operators. Credit demand is diminishing. The quality of bank lending is showing signs of deterioration: the ratio of doubtful and non-performing loans over total loans is increasing. Applicable interest rates are going down.

Rome 03/12/2009

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