MPS communications chief commits suicide

Rossi not under investigation in troubled bank's fraud probe

MPS communications chief commits suicide

Siena, March 7 - The communications chief of troubled Italian bank Monte Paschi di Siena (MPS) committed suicide late on Wednesday. David Rossi threw himself from a high floor of the bank's headquarters, a restored 14th century fortress, in Siena. Rossi was not being probed in an investigation into alleged fraud at Italy's third-biggest lender, but he was among a number of people to have their homes and offices searched last month. The 51-year-old is said to have left a note to his wife in his office saying "I made a blunder". MPS, the world's oldest bank still doing business, was thrown into crisis in January when it emerged that a shady series of derivative and structured finance deals produced losses of 720 million euros. Siena prosecutors are conducting probes into alleged bribery, corruption, tax evasion and other illicit operations at MPS, which were either related to the bank's nine-billion-euro acquisition of rival Antonveneta in 2008 or the period following the takeover. Rossi was considered close to MPS's former chairman Giuseppe Mussari, who left the bank last year. Mussari was in charge of MPS when the suspect derivatives deals took place. Mussari resigned as president of Italian banking association ABI after the derivatives scandal exploded.

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