Wednesday, December 8

The Mediterranean Foundation alleges that the Bank of Spain lacks the competence to sanction it

This is reflected in the allegations that the foundation responsible for managing the so-called CAM Welfare Projects has filed against the statement of charges that the Bank of Spain has sent to the directors and directors of the defunct savings bank, within the file that it keeps open for the alleged deficiencies and administrative irregularities that they committed between 2008 and 2011.

Some facts for which it also demands responsibilities from the now Mediterranean Foundation as universal successor of the assets of the savings bank, although the supervisor himself already recognizes that he will have to evaluate in his final resolution the effect derived from the transformation of the CAM into a foundation of a special nature. , first, and in ordinary foundation, later.

This transformation is the one that the lawyer welcomes Jose Maria Ayala, that he has been in charge of drafting the allegations, to consider “inadmissible” the continuity of the file against the organization, to which he assures “that the sanctioning regime of credit institutions is not applicable”. In this regard, the lawyer insists that the Bank of Spain only has the power to control financial institutions and that the foundation has been “unrelated to all banking matters” since its transformation.

But, in addition, the letter recalls that the foundation only assumed the Obra Social, that is, the management of the cultural and social legacy, while the financial-banking business was segregated first to the so-called Banco CAM, and, later, to Banco Sabadell. Thus, in its response to the Bank of Spain, the foundation cites two judgments of the Supreme Court din 2019, due to sanctions that affected a La Caixa and BFA (Bankia), andn that it is pointed out that the administrative responsibility of the old savings banks has been transferred, along with the rest of the financial activity, to the banking entities that have succeeded them in this task and not to the foundations formed by legal imperative as a result of Law 9/2012, with which the Government of Mariano Rajoy it reorganized the sector and put an end to the savings bank model that had existed in Spain up to that moment.

The imputations

The Bank of Spain opened a sanctioning file against fifty executives, directors and members of the CAM control commission after the intervention of the entity in the face of the alleged irregularities detected. A file that is also directed against the entity itself, which the supervisor identifies with the current Fundación Mediterráneo. With the opening of criminal proceedings against the former heads of the entity, the process was paralyzed so as not to hinder the Justice. But, after knowing the sentences of the main causes -especially the one referring to the falsification of the accounts of the savings bank, for which the former director general María Dolores Amorós and the executive were sentenced Teófilo Sogorb-, the processing was reactivated and last May the new statement of charges, which incorporates the proven facts of the sentences, was sent to those affected.

The file identifies three large groups of infractions of the Law on Discipline and Intervention of Credit Institutions. On the one hand, the deficiencies in risk control and debt policy, especially in operations through the real estate subsidiary TIP, which led the box to invest hundreds of millions in companies such as Polaris World without the relevant checks. The alleged accounting irregularities are also sanctioned, which allowed the entity to present profits greater than the real ones. And finally, the highest sanction is produced for not having presented a viable recapitalization plan when the Bank of Spain requested it.

Up to half a million for managers and directors

The former heads of the entity also prepare their defense against the statement of charges

In addition to the Mediterranean Foundation, the rest of the directors and executives filed by the Bank of Spain – around fifty – have also presented or are already preparing their allegations against the sanctioning file that the financial supervisor has reactivated. In the case of managers – former CEOs María Dolores Amorós and Roberto López Abad and the former directors, the fines proposed in the statement of objections range from 150,000 euros that management deficiencies and accounting irregularities could cost each of them, up to a maximum of 500,000 euros for not presenting a viable recapitalization plan.

For their part, for the members of the entity’s control committee, fines of up to 6,010 euros for having allegedly exercised their functions negligently and not having stopped the irregularities that were committed, in addition to being disqualified for several years from holding positions in credit institutions.

Once the allegations have been received and answered, the Bank of Spain must deadline until May 3, 2022 to definitively resolve the file and impose the penalties derived from its processing.

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