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Intesa CEO expects bank consolidation in Europe

A man takes a picture in front of Intesa Sanpaolo bank in downtown Rome July 23, 2010. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi
A man takes a picture in front of Intesa Sanpaolo bank in downtown Rome July 23, 2010. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

MILAN (Reuters) - The chief executive of Intesa Sanpaolo said on Saturday he expected a new phase of consolidation among European banks, adding the Italian lender was not interested in increasing its exposure to the domestic banking system.

"The industry is highly fragmented, profitability in the banking sector is very low so there are all the prerequisites for consolidation, and I believe that sooner or later it will happen," CEO Enrico Cucchiani told Reuters in an interview.

"It will happen at a domestic level for small and medium-sized banks and at a pan-European level for larger banks."

(Reporting by Lisa Jucca, Paola Arosio, Gianluca Semeraro and Valentina Za, writing by Valentina Za, editing by Jennifer Clark)

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