Top Italian bank official found dead

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 08, 2013 01:50 hrs

Rome, March 8 (IANS/AKI) The communications chief of troubled bank Monte Paschi di Siena (MPS), the world's oldest bank and Italy's largest lender, has been found dead.

David Rossi's body was found on the ground outside the scandal-hit bank's 14th-century headquarters in Siena city.

He reportedly jumped from a high floor of the building.

Police said they had seized an apparent suicide note that 51-year-old Rossi had left for his wife in his office saying, "I made a blunder".

Police carried out a search of his office, where he left his mobile phone and jacket on the back of his chair.

The office was sealed off immediately after the discovery of the body.

"The death of David Rossi is a terrible tragedy," Monte dei Paschi said on its Facebook page.

Rossi was among several employees whose homes and offices were searched by police last month although he was not being investigated in a probe into alleged fraud conspiracy at the bank.

MPS, the world's oldest bank and Italy's largest lender, was thrown into crisis in January when a series of shady derivatives and structured finance deals were uncovered that produced losses of 730 million euros.

The bank's finance department is at the centre of a graft probe into the multi-milllion euro losses which led to a 3.9 billion euro government bailout.

MPS's former finance chief Gianluca Baldassarri was arrested Feb 14 on suspicion of conspiracy to commit fraud. He left MPS shortly after the arrival of new chief executive Fabrizio Viola in January 2012.

Rossi was considered close to MPS's former president Giuseppe Mussari, who left the bank last year and headed the bank at the time of the suspect derivatives deals in 2008-2009.



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