Florence, April 12 - Gianluca Baldassarri, the disgraced former head of finance for the troubled Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) bank, will remain in custody, an appeals court ruled Friday. Baldassarri's defence had requested he be released from prison and placed under house arrest. He and other senior officials from MPS are facing penalties totalling as much as five million euros from the Bank of Italy for alleged fraud and corruption. Italy's third-largest lender, which recently revealed losses of more than three billion euros last year, is at the centre of a huge fraud probe after a scandal over shady derivatives operations exploded in January. It has since emerged that a previously undisclosed series of derivative and structured-finance deals produced losses of around 720 million euros.