Italian police have arrested the former head of finance at Monte dei Paschi di Sienna for his alleged role in concealed derivative trades.

Italian news reports say that police arrested Gianluca Baldassarri in northern Italy today.

Authorities called him a flight risk after he sought to cash in securities valued at €1m.

The MontePaschi bank has acknowledged losses of €730m due to three derivative trades that were not reported on balance sheets or to regulators until new management came in last year.

The bank has sought €3.9 billion in state aid mostly as a cushion against Italian sovereign debt exposure, and which also includes €500m for the trading losses.

Baldassarri is accused of obstructing regulators regarding the derivative trades.