October 20, 2015 / 8:08 AM / 2 years ago

Bank of Italy not aware of probe regarding lender Popolare Spoleto-source

ROME, Oct 20 (Reuters) - The Bank of Italy is not aware of any judicial probe concerning Banca Popolare di Spoleto (BPS), a central bank source said on Tuesday after a press report that the bank's governor was being investigated over dealings with BPS.

Il Fatto Quotidiano daily said that Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco and seven other people had been placed under official investigation over the collapse and subsequent sale of the small lender.

Being placed under investigation in Italy does not imply guilt and does not mean formal charges will necessarily be laid.

The Italian central bank called for BPS to be put under special administration following an inspection in 2012 that, it said, had unveiled "serious irregularities and large expected capital losses" at the lender, which is based in the wealthy central region of Umbria.

BPS was subsequently taken over by small Italian bank Banco di Desio e della Brianza.

An Italian appeals court ruled late last year that the Economy Ministry's decision in 2013 to put BPS under special administration was wrong, saying it should not have relied only on the advice of the Bank of Italy. (Reporting by Stefano Bernabei, writing by Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Crispian Balmer)

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