Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Police seize 40 million euros in assets in MPS bank probe


Rome, February 6 - Italy's finance police seized 40
million euros in securities and cash from banks and trust
companies Wednesday in an investigation into possible fraud
against the troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank.
The assets had been held in various institutions under a
"tax shield" arrangement, sources said.
Sources said earlier Wednesday that a financial inspector
from Rome was expected to spend several days examining the 2011
budget of the City of Siena.
It was not clear what agency the inspector represents but
it was thought to relate to the unfolding scandal at MPS,
Italy's third-largest bank.
Bank board members meeting Wednesday were scheduled to
update shareholders on total losses at the world's oldest bank,
stemming from a series of high-risk and failed derivatives
trades and other structured financial deals.
The extent of those losses had previously been hidden from
investors and were recently estimated at about 720 million
However, Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported the
bank would reveal losses of 920 million euros from the three
derivative trades, plus a further loss of 120 million in
"personnel costs".
The bank has denied that report.
The news comes on the same day that former chief executive
Antonio Vigni entered a Siena prosecutor's office for
questioning into alleged fraud at the troubled bank.
There have also been reports of bribery and corruption by
bank officials regarding, among other things, the costly
nine-billion-euro acquisition of rival Antonveneta in 2008.
The scandal comes amidst a national election campaign and
could damage the prospects for the left-leaning Democratic
Party, which has longstanding ties to MPS and its lucrative
But politicians across party lines all have some connection
to the bank, which have requested and received government
assistance in recent years.

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