Italy's MontePaschi loses €3 billion in 2012

Thursday 28 March 2013 18.41
Monte dei Paschi di Siena hit  by trading scandal and bad loans
Monte dei Paschi di Siena hit by trading scandal and bad loans

The troubled Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena today reported higher-than-expected losses of €3.17 billion for last year as it was hurt by a trading scandal and bad loans.

Analysts had forecast losses of €2.2 billion. The results were only a mild improvement from the 2011 losses of €4.7 billion.

The bank said it set aside more than €2.67 billion in 2012 to cover possible loan losses and booked one-off restructuring costs of €311m.

To save cash, the bank has cut 1,000 jobs with an additional 600 expected by July, and closed 200 branches.

The world's oldest-running bank, founded in 1472, has been embroiled in a trading scandal that has cost it some €730m and forced it to raise the amount of state aid it was seeking to keep afloat.

MontePaschi, as it is informally known, received €3.9 billion in state aid earlier this year.

The bank has announced it plans to sue former chairman Giuseppe Mussari and former general manager Antonio Vigni, along with Nomura and Deutsche Bank, over the two costliest trades in the scandal. The board is seeking to recoup damages, but has not specified how much.

Italian police have arrested the bank's former head of finance, Gianluca Baldassarri, for his alleged role in concealed derivative trades. Baldassarri is accused of obstructing regulators regarding the derivative trades.