April 10, 2021

"I did not have liquidity problems"

"I did not have liquidity problems"

On his third day of declaration before the court that judges the flotation of Bankia, the former president of the entity Rodrigo Rato, has re-downloaded possible irregularities in both the Bank of Spain and the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), while criticizing the intervention of the bank in 2012. "I did not have liquidity problems nor was there any type of withdrawal of deposits much less, as occurred after the intervention", he has complained. In addition, Rato – for whom the Prosecutor's Office is asking for a five-year prison sentence for the crime of swindling investors – has underlined that Bankia's accounts "were never questioned by anyone." In his previous appearance – before the trial was interrupted four weeks due to illness of the prosecutor Carmen Launa – the former minister blamed the former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy for his departure from the presidency of the entity.

In substitution of Launa has concluded the interrogation of the Prosecutor's Office to Rato the chief prosecutor of Anticorruption, Alejandro Luzón, to whom the defendant has assured that he was not sent any alert about the financial situation of Bankia. "The only thing that was sent to me was that the auditor was concerned about the valuation of the shares of the entity ", but he added that he was not told that it was "an essential fact". In any case, he said, Deloitte was commissioned a report on "how we could solve the problem of valuation of the shares", an opinion that the Bank of Spain "accepted".

Regarding the information included in the IPO brochure -according to the Prosecutor's Office that did not correspond to the true situation of the entity in an attempt to attract investors- it has said that it was a "technical" document that was supervised by the legal department, " and I am sure that it contained all the elements it had to contain, because otherwise the Bank of Spain and the CNMV would not have accepted it. " "I had the information that was transmitted to me by the audit committee and the executives of the bank," he reiterated. Rato explained that after the initial sanitation plan, the Government of Rajoy He asked the entity for an extra effort, "a provision that would generate confidence in the market." "It is a political request that the Ministry takes me in a meeting with my three top competitors." "It's not enough for me, you have to give me more", he assured that he was asked by the Ministry of Economy Luis de Guindos. Its competitors, according to Rato, "wanted Bankia to provide 15 billion dollars", an amount that he considered disproportionate. "Then we made a plan and prepared a chaotic macroeconomic situation that could justify such a provision, but it was a request from the political authorities," which, as he underlined, was suffering from "a certain situation of panic, of nervousness"

The former vice president of the Government of Aznar has given details of those meetings with Minister De Guindos and its "competitors" (Santander, BBVA and la Caixa) in April and May 2012, in which De Guindos "insisted that Bankia should have more provisions" than the ones that the regulation indicated. 48 hours before he submitted his resignation, he explained, on May 5, 2012 the last meeting was held "in the offices of the Ministry, in the meeting room that is in front of the minister's office." It is then, he recalled, when "the president of BBVA (then Francisco González) asked me to resign", because "having been a minister of the PP, it was not good that he was president of a bank". The Economy Minister himself joined that request, according to Rato, who resigned two days later "because I thought that if I was a problem I had no problem leaving in favor of the savings banks and for the benefit of all. very limited and I understood that while it was useful to my shareholders I should continue and when it was not, I had to leave ". "And so I did," he continued, "before lunch I told the staff in an email and in the afternoon we announced it Goirigolzarri (his successor in the Bankia presidency) and me."

The former president of the entity has assured that hoped to return the 6,000 million euros injected by the State into Bankia through the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (Frob), although he added that "the problem of the possible is that later they may not happen". Rato – who is serving a sentence for the "black cards" case – has assured that "it seemed to me and also to the Bank of Spain, not that it would have given us a generalized exaltation".

Rato has shown more restraint in his replies to the Prosecutor's Office, although they have maintained some scuffle with Luzón during the interrogation, although, as he has acknowledged, "my lawyer advises me not to argue".


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