Finance police visit JP Morgan in Milan for MPS probe

Order for documents regarding MPS takeover of Antonveneta

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.

Lascia il tuo commento

Condividi le tue opinioni su Gazzetta del Sud online

Caratteri rimanenti: 400

Le altre notizie

i più letti di oggi