Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I am calling bullbleep on a web rumor (updated)

There is a story spreading like wildfire on the web that a major Italian bank (Bank Network Investments SpA (BNI)) has suspended payments and closed up for a 1 month "bank holiday" causing chaos. And further that there is some sort of news blackout going on. (See here.)

As of right now I suspect this is just an internet hoax that has gotten some traction. Not only can I not find a single reputable news source reporting the story, I also can't find a website for this alleged bank. A Google news search came up blank. But so did a subject search seeking any reference to this so called bank other than the web rumors being reported over the last 2 days or so. You would think even a small bank would have some kind of online reference to its existence... somewhere.

Pending evidence to the contrary I am calling bullshit on this story.

Update: See Michael's comment. I am still looking for more information. If the story checks out I will post a retraction.


Michael said...

Hi. John;

FWIW, here is the website of the "bank" in question (seems legit on the surface?):


And here is the notice:


If you go to IXQuick and enter "banca network investimenti" you get several hits. So, I think this is a real bank.

Steve said...

More info: The domain was registered in 2007 by an organisation called "Banca Bipielle Network Spa".

The registrar is register.it, which is a large, fairly run-of-the-mill Italian domain name registrar.

It is also worth noting (http://bancanetwork.it/content/procedura-di-amministrazione-straordinaria) that the bank has been in trouble since November of last year, when it was placed into administration. The announcement of 31st May should not therefore come as a total surprise.

I would be inclined to believe that this is indeed a real bank. If it is a hoax, then it was a very long time in planning.