Informations and abstract
The Commission has applied the rescue and restructuring aid rules to failing banks thus declaring that also the banking sector is not excluded from the application of state aid rules and setting the conditions according to which state interventions may be declared compatible with the common market. The present 247 article examines the Italian banking cases where the Commission verified the compatibility with rescue and restructuring aid rules of state interventions a) for single failing banks and b) for banks engaged in mergers and restructuring operations. In the Banco di Napoli and Banco di Sicilia/Sicilcassa cases the Commission declared compatible, among the others, two peculiar measures used in the banking sector such as the hiving-off of bad assets into a defeasance structure and the intervention of deposit guarantee schemes. In the case of fiscal aid accorded to the banks engaged in mergers and restructuring operations cases the Commission declared the state interventions not compatible with the common market. While dealing with the Banco di Napoli and Banco di Sicilia cases the Commission did not take a position whether or not a failing bank must be saved by the State but has anyway seriously limited the previous scope of state interventions in order to ensure the level playing field among competitors. While examining the deposit guarantee schemes, the Commission has indirectly indicated which state interventions are more compatible with state aid rules.