Italy Charge Foreign Banks With Fraud

Four banks were on Wednesday charged with fraud linked to the sale of derivatives to the city of Milan. The trial of the banks, Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase, UBS and Hypo Real Estate Holding’s Depfa Bank, has been scheduled for May 6.

“Employees acted with the highest degree of professionalism and entirely appropriately.”

JP Morgan Chase

According to The Financial Times the banks have been accused of misleading the city on swaps that adjusted interest payments on €1.7bn of borrowings. Italian prosecutors are probing banks as local and national government agencies face potential losses of €2.5bn on derivatives, lawyers say.

JPMorgan Chase says it “vigorously” defends its position against charges of fraud in a probe linked to the sale of derivatives to the city of Milan.

Its employees acted with the “highest degree of professionalism and entirely appropriately,” the bank says in an e-mailed statement.

Hypo Real Estate Holding said neither Depfa Bank nor its employees “violated any law or regulation” in a case linked to the sale of derivatives in Milan. The bank will continue to defend its case after charges of fraud, according to an e-mailed statement.

UBS says it did not commit fraud in the sale of derivatives to Milan over which it faces charges. “No criminal plot was conceived by the UBS exponents,” the firm says in an e-mailed statement.

Deutsche Bank did not have an immediate comment, The Financial Times writes.

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