(MENAFN - AFP) US bank JPMorgan Chase denied Friday that it ever intended to buy troubled Italian rival BMPS, as people close to the alleged deal had reported.
"This is not accurate and was never under consideration," a JPMorgan spokesperson told AFP.
Sources who asked to remain anonymous had indicated Wednesday that Jamie Dimon, chief executive of the largest US bank by assets, and Daniel Pinto, the London-based head of JPMorgan's investment and finance department, were behind the plan to bail out the Banca Monte Paschi di Siena unveiled last week.
Their first idea, the sources said, was the outright purchase of the heavily indebted BMPS, which the European Central Bank last week cited as the financial institution most susceptible to bankruptcy according to EU bank stress tests.
JP Morgan had hesitated to pursue a bid, fearing US authorities would take an unfavorable view of a US bank rescuing a European firm.
The bank also feared a backlash to the acquisition in Italy and in Europe where big banks are not favorably viewed in the press, the other source explained.
The US bank ultimately decided the best solution would be an injection of funds, the cooperation of the Italian government and improved governance, the two sources said.
Dimon discussed the situation with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi while he was in Italy in early July for the 100th anniversary of JPMorgan's presence in the country, the sources said. He also discussed it with the BMPS management team.