Sit-in to protest bad bank losses

Consumers demand probe into Consob president

(ANSA) - Jesi, January 4 - Savers protesting Italy's bad banks scandal called a sit-in Monday outside the former headquarters of the old Banca Marche di Jesi in the latest in a rash of demonstrations by small investors left with worthless bonds.
    Premier Matteo Renzi Monday reiterated that the government will give priority to legislative reforms to increase protection for small savers. "From cooperative credit banks to bankruptcy law that has to change … we have a very great deal to do in Italy," he said.
    Consumer protection watchdog bodies Adusbef and Federconsumatori said they were presenting a further legal memorandum to nine public prosecutor's offices asking magistrates to start criminal proceedings against Consob stock exchange watchdog, President Giuseppe Vegas, and other officials on grounds that they turned a blind eye to irregularities by bad banks.
    The Bank of Italy last Wednesday started the sale process for four 'good banks' recently split from the bad banks after a government rescue that left many investors with worthless bonds.
    The four are Nuova Banca Marche, Nuova Banca Etruria, Nuova Cassa di Risparmio di Chieti and Nuova Cassa di Risparmio di Ferrara. The process was started in concert with the Italian government and EU authorities, and will comply with EU rules on State aid.
    The government has set up a 100-million-euro fund to compensate investors who can prove they were duped into holding risky bonds.
    Thousands of former bondholders and ex-shareholders are demanding their money back after seeing their savings go up in smoke.
    A probe for instigation to suicide has been opened after one desperate bondholder in Banca Etruria, Luigi D'Angelo, hanged himself in December.