MADRID – The Spanish National Court agreed on Tuesday to review charges filed against the former management of the nationalized bank Bankia by the “indignados,” who helped inspire the Occupy movement in the United States.
The legal complaint accuses the conglomerate’s erstwhile boss, one-time International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato, and other Bankia executives of fraud and of cooking the bank’s books to disguise its true financial condition.
Formally known as the May 15th Movement, the indignados are seeking jail time, fines and professional sanctions against the people who ran the bank prior to its nationalization in May.
Bankia’s new leadership quickly submitted a request for an additional 19 billion euros ($23.8 billion) in state aid, on top of the 4.46 billion euros ($5.6 billion) the bank received in 2008.
The National Court ruled last week that a similar accusation submitted by the small Union, Progress and Democracy party merited investigation.
After learning of the second criminal complaint, Rato, a former economy minister, asked to appear before Parliament at “the earliest possible date” to explain his tenure at Bankia, sources close to the former chairman told Efe.
The Popular Party majority in Parliament announced Tuesday that it will invite Rato and 23 other current and former Bankia executives to answer questions from lawmakers.
Legislators from the conservative PP, now in power, also want to hear from former central bank governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordońez, current Economy Minister Luis de Guindos and the person who held that post in the previous Socialist government, Elena Salgado.
BFA-Bankia is Spain’s fourth-largest financial institution.
Created from the merger of seven ailing regional lenders, Bankia was one of the banks hardest hit by the 2007 collapse of a long-building real-estate bubble. EFE