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ECB's Jazbec: Slovenian bank sector collapse would cost 15 billion euros

LJUBLJANA (Reuters) - Slovenia's taxpayers would face a bill of 15 billion euros ($201 billion) if all the country's banks collapsed, though there was no sign that this was about to happen, Slovenia's central bank governor told parliament on Friday.

Slovenia's banks are crippled by 7.5 billion euros of bad loans - more than a fifth of national output - and speculation is rife that the country may become the next euro zone member to seek international financial assistance.

Earlier this month, Slovenia took a first step towards a long-delayed bank overhaul by starting to liquidate the privately-owned Factor Banka and Probanka, which combined account for about 4.5 percent of the banking sector. The state provides guarantees for all deposits in those banks.

Bostjan Jazbec, who is also a member of the European Central Bank Governing Council, said there were thought to be no other banks facing similar problems to those of Factor of Probanka.

"If all Slovenian banks collapsed the maximum costs to taxpayers would be 15 billion euros," Jazbec said. ($1 = 0.7384 euros)

(Reporting by Marja Novak; Editing by Hugh Lawson)