Milan, 19 July (AKI/Bloomberg) - Milan prosecutor Alfredo Robledo asked a
court to ban Deutsche Bank, Depfa Bank, UBS AG and JPMorgan from doing
business with Italian local governments for a year for mis-selling swaps
to the city.
The prosecutor late Wednesday asked a Milan court to fine the banks 1.5
million euros each and asked they return their 72.5 million euros of
illicit profit from the contracts.
The four banks that arranged the swaps have been on trial since May
2010, accused of defrauding Milan by hiding their fees. The companies,
which have denied the charges, settled with the city government in March
and agreed to unwind the interest- rate swaps, which adjusted payments
on 1.7 billion euros of bonds sold by the city in 2005. Opaque
derivatives fashioned by securities firms are costing Italian taxpayers
more than $1.5 billion, according to March data by the country’s central
“The evidence doesn’t support the sentences and sanctions requested
by the prosecutor,” UBS said in a statement. JPMorgan and Deutsche Bank
said they acted properly in their dealings with the city.
Officials at Depfa didn’t have an immediate comment.
Robledo asked to absolve two city officials who had been accused of
colluding with the banks and two bankers because of insufficient
evidence, he said. He requested nine other bankers serve jail terms of
as long as 12 months.
Swaps used by the city of Milan may have breached rules on how
municipalities use derivatives to manage their debt, partly because they
were used to raise funds, a judicially-appointed witness said at the
trial in May. The swaps were far from being hedges on the municipality’s
interest-rate risk after being restructured multiple times, he said.
The banks said in court that firms don’t typically disclose the fees
they charge to arrange swaps, tailored trades that lack comparable
market prices. Former Milan Mayor Gabriele Albertini told the court in
November he knew banks would charge the city for arranging the 2005
financing package that included swaps, though he didn’t know the amount
of the commissions.
His successor, Letizia Moratti, said she had relied on the banks as
advisers on subsequent transactions. The securities firms thus had a
“clear” conflict of interest, she said.
Lawyers for the banks will make their final arguments in September.
Como se sabe, os magníficos administradores do Metro de Lisboa e do Porto, no ano de 2008 contrataram para as empresas respectivas, públicas, encargos que se revelaram custar agora mais de mil milhões de euros, em operações de swap. Alguém os aconselhou a tal negócio e porventura foram os bancos beneficiários.
Não há no Ministério Público português alguém que faça o que italianos de Milão fizeram?
Maria José Morgado, já que me parece a única pessoa com vontade para tal ( o PGR e a directora do DCIAP já não contam para tal), não quer instaurar um inquérito e perguntar aos italianos ( até por mail) como é que fizeram para responsabilizar aqueles bancos?
Na Europa, que se saiba, tal é uma primícia e tinham logo que ser os italianos a fazerem-no...