LONDON Jan 28 Mario Draghi, the governor of the European Central Bank, met Italian Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli on Monday to discuss the mounting problems at Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the Financial Times reported on its website on Monday, citing an unnamed government official.
In response to a question from the FT, the European Central Bank confirmed the pair met at an office of the Finance Ministry in Milan but gave no further comment.
Draghi, who was formerly governor of the Italian central bank, wanted to brief Grilli on the role the Italian central bank had played in supervising Monte dei Paschi when it discovered during an inspection in 2010 that the bank had taken out risky derivatives positions, according to the unnamed government official cited by the Financial Times.
Monte dei Paschi, the world's oldest bank, founded in 1472 and based in the Tuscan town of Siena, has run into deep trouble since its 9-billion-euro ($12.11 billion) cash purchase of rival Banca Antonveneta in 2007, just before the global financial crash.
The bank said on Monday it had no evidence of bribery in a 2007 takeover now under scrutiny over alleged corruption, but acknowledged accounting irregularities over derivatives deals under previous management.