VICENZA, Italy Dec 13 Shareholders in Italy's
Banca Popolare di Vicenza voted on Tuesday to pursue legal
action against former managers after thousands of small
investors lost their savings when the regional lender had to be
rescued by bank bailout fund Atlante.
The bank had said in a document prepared for the shareholder
meeting it had suffered "several hundred million euros" in
damages because of former executives' conduct, citing in
particular allegedly "serious and repeated irregular lending
practices" and past investments in the Athena and Optimum funds.
Popolare di Vicenza and rival Veneto Banca were rescued this
year by state-sponsored Atlante after investors shunned share
issues needed to plug a capital shortfall and avert the risk of
being wound down.
Both banks are under investigation over allegations they
lent money to clients to buy their own shares, artificially
boosting their financial strength. New top executives have said
they are cooperating fully with magistrates.
(Reporting by Andrea Mandala; writing by Francesca Landini,
editing by Valentina Za)