Four banks to face charges of fraud on €1.68 billion bond swap

18 March 2010

A law suit has been brought against JPMorgan, UBS and Deutsche Bank in Italy accusing the institutions of selling fraudulent derivatives in Milan.

Up to 13 representatives from a total of four banks have been ordered to stand trial by Judge Simone Luerti.

The fraud is alleged to have occurred on a bonds swap worth €1.68 billion undertaken in 2005.

Financial institutions involved are believed to have earned more than €100 million on irregularities from the trades.

Lawyers working on behalf of Italian agencies both at a national and international level have claimed the organisations could lose up to €2.5 billion.

Tax regulators based in Italy seized a combined total of €476 million worth of assets from the banks in April 2009.

In a statement JPMorgan said: "The JPMorgan employees involved in the transactions acted with the highest degree of professionalism and entirely appropriately.”

Deutsche Bank commented that it was sure employees had acted with integrity while UBS also denied the charges.

Representatives from the four banks, which also includes Hypo Real Estate Holding’s Depfa Bank, are due to appear in court on May
6th.

By Jim Ottewill

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