March 22, 2017 / 12:17 PM / 4 months ago

Former Monte Paschi chairman Profumo summonsed in usury case: document

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Monte dei Paschi bank chairman Alessandro Profumo poses for a picture during a Reuters interview in Siena June 27, 2012.Stefano Rellandini

MILAN (Reuters) - An Italian judge has ordered the former chairman of Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) to face trial in a case of alleged usury, according to a court document.

The decision by a judge in the southern Italian town of Lagonegro relates to interest rates that the bank applied to loans granted to a car dealer between 2001 and 2013 and that according to prosecutors were higher than the maximum level allowed by Italian legislation.

Alessandro Profumo was appointed chairman of the Tuscan bank in 2012 and stepped down in 2015. The judge said in the document, which is dated March 1 but became public only on Wednesday, that Profumo was being indicted as being the then legal representative of the Tuscan bank.

Profumo's lawyers, Adriano Raffaelli and Francesco Mucciarelli, told Reuters they were confident that he would be cleared of all charges.

A spokesman for Profumo said the current accounts opened by the car dealer and the loans granted to him by the bank were all signed off before Profumo became chairman of the bank.

Last week the Italian Treasury proposed appointing Profumo as the new chief executive of state-controlled defense group Leonardo (LDOF.MI).

Reporting by Sara Rossi and Stefano Bernabei; Writing by Silvia Alosi; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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