Mercoledì, 17 Ottobre 2018

Finance police visit JP Morgan in Milan for MPS probe


Siena, April 18 - Italian finance police sought
documents from the Milan offices of the American investment bank
JP Morgan on Thursday regarding a probe into Italy's
scandal-ridden lender, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS).
The police carried out an order signed by Sienese
prosecutors for documents relating to MPS's 2008 acquisition of
rival bank Antonveneta.
"The Guardia di Finanza is in the offices simply to acquire
some documents and the bank is giving them to them," confirmed
JP Morgan's legal representative Giorgio Perroni.
The police left the offices after about three hours.
The Milan offices of JP Morgan were also searched in May
2012 along with dozens of other banks, MPS headquarters and MPS
Foundation in Siena, as well as the city and provincial
government offices of Siena.
MPS is at the centre of a series of criminal probes that
have come to light after a scandal over shady derivatives
operations exploded in January.
It has since emerged that a series of suspect derivative
and structured-finance deals left a hole of around 720 million
euros in the balance sheet of Italy's third-biggest lender, and
that senior MPS managers and senior managers of Japanese
investment bank Nomura are under investigation.
In addition, there are also suspicions senior MPS managers
were involved bribes and corruption regarding the
nine-billion-euro acquisition of Antonveneta from the Spanish
bank Santander. The deal was announced in November 2007.
Former MPS chairman Giuseppe Mussari, former general
manager Antonio Vigni and former finance chief Gianluca
Baldassarri are being probed for crimes including usury,
aggravated fraud, obstructing banking watchdogs and issuing
false statements.
Around 14 million euros belonging to Mussari, Vigni and
Baldassarri were seized last Tuesday.
In addition, senior officials from MPS are facing penalties
totalling as much as five million euros from the Bank of Italy
for alleged fraud and corruption.
Mussari last year resigned from MPS and stepped down from
his subsequent post as chairman of the banking association ABI
when news of the derivatives deals broke in January.
Baldassarri is under house arrest.
MPS, which is the world's oldest bank still doing business,
revealed losses of more than three billion euros last year.
Before the derivatives scandal broke, the Italian
government had approved a 3.9-billion-euro bailout loan to the
troubled bank, which may be converted into equity if the bank
cannot make its payments to the State.

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