ROME (Reuters) – State-controlled Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) has a role to play in the consolidation of the banking sector, a top Italian Treasury official said on Wednesday.

The entrance of the Monte dei Paschi bank headquarters is seen in Siena, central Italy, January 29, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi

“The bank will have to seize consolidation opportunities at the right moment and we are sure it can do so as protagonist and not as prey as was the case a few years ago,” Treasury Chief of Staff Fabrizio Pagani told Reuters.

The Treasury became the main shareholder of the troubled Tuscan bank after it failed to find buyers for a 5 billion euro share issue needed to keep it afloat.

The lender is now looking to return to profit by cutting staff and branches and selling off more than 28 billion euros of bad loans.

Shares in the lender resumed trading on Wednesday after a 10-month suspension.

Reporting by Giselda Vagnoni, writing by Stephen Jewkes

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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