May 26, 2020

In Bankia nothing was normal | Economy

In Bankia nothing was normal | Economy

The work of the auditors is subject to many guidelines and obligations. But even in this type of work, the personal and professional relationship is marking the work of preparing something as complex as the audit of some accounts. In the case of BFA-Bankia that Deloitte had to audit in 2011, it should be remembered that the entity came from the hasty merger of seven savings banks. BFA-Bankia exceeded 300,000 million assets, exceeded La Caixa in size, and had real estate assets that lost value each quarter. A devilish scenario to affirm that some accounts faithfully reflect the equity and financial situation of an entity, as an audit must guarantee. Everything was quicksand.

In any situation, but perhaps more in the case of Bankia, it seems reasonable that the audit be prepared with the drafts of the accounts. If you wait at the end, when you have the games closed, it can be difficult to meet the legal deadlines. And in addition, in the case of Bankia, the bank had just debuted on the stock market in the midst of a formidable financial storm as it had not been remembered for 60 years. More tension.

From what is being seen in the trial, all these lurches – in addition to the political interference of the Government that considered that Bankia was able to take Spain to the rescue – made nothing in Bankia normal. The statements of Rodrigo Rato, former president; José Luis Olivas, former vice president; Francisco Verdú, former CEO; Ángel Acebes, former president of the audit committee; and Araceli Mora, ex-Counselor of Bankia, draw an almost current picture: everything was fine, the Bank of Spain did not turn on the red lights, and they were waiting for an audit without qualifications. They reassured them some notes from the auditor sent to Rato, written on a paper without letterhead. And that the chaos at that time was such, that some doubted even if they would remain in their posts.

Francisco Celma, audit partner of Deloitte and professional for 32 years, he drew on Tuesday the opposite of the counselors. He said he sent more than ten emails requesting key information that did not arrive; the weeks passed, the months … The financial giant was on its way to disaster (handing over the unaudited accounts), and it happened, to everyone's disgrace. Defendants can lie to defend themselves. But there is something clear that Celma said: "The accounts are prepared by the board, not the auditor, who does not work for the directors but for the shareholders. The situation we experienced was anything but normal. " He did not sign the accounts.


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