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Italy’s Top Bank Lobbyist Resigns After Derivatives Disclosures

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- Former Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA Chairman Giuseppe Mussari quit as Italy’s top banking lobbyist as scrutiny of the lender’s use of derivatives deepens.

The resignation is effective immediately, he said in a letter posted to the Italian Banking Association today. He leaves as Monte Paschi, where he was chairman from 2006 until April, comes under growing pressure to disclose the extent of losses it faces on derivatives.

The lender fell 5.7 percent to 27.75 cents in Milan trading today, the biggest decliner in Europe’s 46-member Stoxx 600 Banks Index, after Il Fatto Quotidiano reported Monte Paschi’s former managers signed contracts with Nomura Holdings Inc. three years ago that will reduce 2012 earnings by 220 million euros ($293 million). Nomura said in a statement Mussari “fully reviewed and approved” the trade.

“I always acted according to the law,” Mussari, 50, wrote. “I took the decision to not damage the association.”

Monte Paschi said on Jan. 17 it will review its accounts after Bloomberg News first reported that the lender engaged in a derivative with Deutsche Bank AG in 2008 that obscured losses before the Siena-based bank sought a government bailout. The Italian lender, which was bailed out in 2009, is seeking 500 million euros more from taxpayers, bringing the total cost of its rescue to 3.9 billion euros.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net; Elisa Martinuzzi in Davos, Switzerland at emartinuzzi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net; Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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