November 18, 2017 / 5:01 PM / a year ago

Italian bank Monte dei Paschi sets aside $671 million for civil lawsuits

FILE PHOTO - The entrance of Monte Dei Paschi di Siena is seen in San Gusme near Siena, Italy, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

ROME (Reuters) - Ailing Italian bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena said on Saturday it had set aside 569.4 million euros (508.28 million pounds)to pay for civil lawsuits as of end-September, after a group of bondholders this week challenged its state rescue.

The bank said in a bourse filing it could not rule out that the investors would be granted the right to go back to receiving interest payments on a 2008 floating-rate debt sale known as FRESH.

Rome committed 5.4 billion euros in July to rescue Monte dei Paschi, Italy’s fourth-largest bank, to prevent a wider crisis, cancelling the investments of some of its bondholders.

As of Sept. 30, overall claims from civil lawsuits lodged by investors amounted to 4.42 billion euros, Monte dei Paschi said in the filing.

The bank also warned that it was running below targets in terms of net fees and lending and that low demand for credit might prevent it meetings its 2017 financial goals.

Reporting by Isla Binnie, editing by Valentina Za

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