Italy antitrust opens probe into Banca Popolare di Vicenza

Banca Popolare di Vicenza headquater is seen in Vicenza, Italy, March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

ROME (Reuters) - Italy’s antitrust authority said on Tuesday it had opened an investigation into Banca Popolare di Vicenza for possible unfair practice, citing evidence it had twinned the sale of mortgages and loans with other financial instruments.

The bank appeared to have “made the concession of financing to clients such as mortgages, personal loans and credit on current accounts dependent on the purchase of the bank’s shares and convertible bonds,” the antitrust said in a statement.

In November, four other Italian banks were rescued from bankruptcy after evidence that they had followed similar business practices.

Reporting by Gavin Jones; editing by Agnieszka Flak