MPS seeks growth through private banking

Italy’s third bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) unveiled today its 2012-2015 business plan, according to which it will turn to private banking to seek growth potential.

The bank expects to recruit 100 private bankers over the next three years, as well as 1000 support staff.

MPS will strengthen its joint venture with AXA-MPS on insurance products. On asset management, it will develop its partnership with Anima SGR to increase individual asset under management for each adviser from €11.7m to €14.2m by 2015, the bank said in a statement.

Monte Paschi’s board also approved a number of capital measures to comply with the €3.4bn European Banking Authority targets, and the bank will use €1.9bn to repay existing government bonds (“Tremonti bonds”).

Yesterday, the Italian government agreed to lend up to €2bn to the bank under a scheme similar to the Tremonti bond program.

Finally, MPS expects net profits of about €630m by following the implementation of cost cutting measures which will see the reduction of 400 branches, a more rigorous asset quality policy and diversification of revenues from services.

The bank also confirmed today the agreement with Cassa di Risparmio di Asti to sell its 60% stake in Piedmont-based Biverbanca.

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