June 22, 2017 / 6:56 PM / 5 months ago

Italian prosecutors request trial for UBI Banca, executives - source

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian prosecutors have requested that the country’s fifth-biggest bank, UBI (UBI.MI), its chief executive and 29 other people be sent to trial over alleged obstruction of regulators, a source with direct knowledge of the issue said on Thursday.

FILE PHOTO: The headquarter of UBI bank is seen in Brescia, Italy, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

A judge will now have to decide on whether there are grounds for a trial.

UBI, its CEO Victor Massiah, the chairman of the bank’s supervisory board and 28 other people are also being probed for alleged irregularities in the way shareholders appointed the supervisory board in April 2013, the source said.

Responding to a request for comment by Reuters, the bank said it was not aware of the prosecutors’ request. In a statement released on Nov. 17, 2016, when prosecutors based in the northern city of Bergamo completed their probe, the bank denied any wrongdoing and reiterated it had always cooperated with the investigators.

Massiah said on Nov. 17 he was convinced that he had always

acted in a manner that would not obstruct supervisory authorities or unlawfully influence the outcome of a shareholder meeting.

On the same day the bank’s supervisory board chairman, Andrea Moltrasio, challenged the prosecutors’ allegations and defended the legitimacy of the 2013 shareholder meeting and its outcome, which he said had already been recognised by the civil court of Brescia in northern Italy.

Tax police searched offices at UBI’s headquarters in Bergamo in 2014 and 2015 as part of the investigation.

Reporting by Emilio Parodi, writing by Silvia Aloisi, editing by Paola Arosio

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