Court summons Dexia bank over shares complaint

24th June 2009, Comments 0 comments

A French court summoned managers of Dexia bank including Belgium's former prime minister Jean-Luc Dehaene in a case brought by disgruntled shareholders, a court source said.

PARIS - One of the shareholders, Robert Casanovas, told AFP that the managers caused him and his wife to lose 685,000 euros (960,000 dollars) by providing misleading financial information.

Casanovas and his wife bought their shares in early 2008. Dexia shares were worth more than 15 euros in February 2008 but lost more than 90 percent of their value in a year due to the world financial crisis.

"By pretending deceitfully that Dexia was well protected from subprimes (high risk US mortgage loans), Dexia led us into error," he said.

Five of the bank's managers have been summoned to appear at a Paris court in October and the bank itself as a legal entity is also summoned to appear, a court source said.

Among them was Dehaene, president of the board of the Franco-Belgian bank, who served as Belgium's prime minister from 1993 to 1999.

Another of the managers summoned was Pierre Richard, who served as director of French President Nicolas Sarkozy's office when Sarkozy was budget minister from 1993 to 1995.

Under French law, spreading false or misleading information is punishable by up to two years in prison and a heavy fine.


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