Martingale defends merit of claims against Monte dei Paschi

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: The logo of Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank is seen in a bank entrance in Rome

MILAN (Reuters) - Consultancy Martingale Risk has defended the merit of legal claims it has filed against Monte dei Paschi di Siena (MPS) on behalf of investors in the Tuscan bank, after the lender said last week the claims lacked grounds.

In an emailed statement to Reuters, Martingale Risk CEO Marco Fabio Delzio said comments from MPS Chief Executive Luigi Lovaglio, playing down the significance of Martingale's legal actions, were at odds with the bank's decision to increase legal risk provisions.

"The declarations issued by Mr. Lovaglio (about) the vagueness and groundlessness of our claims appear clearly inconsistent with the provisions set aside. Obviously our requests are not so unfounded," he said.

State-owned MPS had said on Friday it had received 1.8 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in fresh extra-judicial claims between June and early August, relating to allegedly incorrect financial information from the bank, from a consultancy which a source identified as Martingale Risk.

Martingale offers services including supporting investors seeking to recoup losses.

The bank set aside 78 million euros against legal risks in the first half despite saying that its legal advisers had doubts about whether the new extra judicial claims warranted any provisions.

"We observe, in most of them, even a sort of indetermination on the amount ... about the dimension of the claim, the timing when this claim is addressed, moreover ... all of them don't have documentation proving anything," MPS chief Lovaglio told an analyst call.

($1 = 0.9794 euros)

(Reporting by Valentina Za; Editing by David Holmes)