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Popolare di Vicenza shareholders vote for legal action against former managers

Shareholders of Banca Popolare di Vicenza SpA have voted to pursue legal action against former management, seeking compensation for damages caused by regulatory breaches and by the trading of the bank's shares.

In a general meeting on Dec. 13, the shareholders voted to bring a liability suit against the bank's former directors, managers and statutory auditors. The action seeks compensation for damages caused by any breaches by the executives of rules of conduct; and for damages caused by the trading of Popolare di Vicenza shares.

According to a document seen by Reuters, the bank said it suffered damages totaling "several hundred million euros" due to the conduct of former executives.

Earlier in March, Italian authorities opened an investigation into Popolare di Vicenza over the possible use of unfair business practices, while prosecutors alleged in September 2015 that the bank loaned about €1 billion to clients to enable them to buy its own shares, inflating its capital levels and misleading regulators and investors.

Meanwhile, Banca Popolare di Vicenza's new CEO, Fabrizio Viola, told shareholders in the same meeting that the bank's management is studying the potential merger with Veneto Banca SpA and said there will be no delay in the deal, Reuters reported the same day, citing the bank.