Linde, former governor of the Bank of Spain, testifies this week for the Popular

The former governor of the Bank of Spain Luis María Linde will testify as a witness before the National Court on Wednesday in the case that investigates the last two management teams of the Popular Bank, led by former presidents Ángel Ron and Emilio Saracho.

Linde, who was in charge of the supervisory body between June 2012 and May 2018, will answer the questions of the head of the Central Court of Instruction number 4, José Luis Calama, of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor and the rest of the parties, in an interrogation which is expected to be more extensive than that of the former president of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) Elvira Rodríguez.

Unlike Rodríguez, the former governor was present in the two stages investigated, subject to separate pieces, the first on the capital increase amounting to 2,500 million that the entity undertook in the spring of 2016, even with Ron as president, and the second, already with Saracho, for an alleged crime of manipulating the market with false news to bring down the value of the quote and obtain benefits.

Prior to his statement at the National Court, Linde appeared, in April 2018, in the commission of the Congress on the financial crisis, where he said that if the Popular had not been bought by a "powerful" bank such as Santander, the result It would have been "catastrophic" for Spain and for the economy.

"Within which it was a resolution, the solution that was found was the least bad. I do not mean that it was the best," he said before the deputies to whom he explained that the operation, executed by the Banking Ordinance Restructuring Fund (FROB) At the behest of Europe on June 7, 2017, it was "favorable."

In this regard, he insisted that if there had not been a buyer, the entity would have been liquidated, which would have caused losses to both creditors and depositors.

He also referred to the problems dragged by the Popular in the days prior to the resolution, and said that the Bank of Spain granted all the emergency liquidity that could be given depending on the guarantees provided by the entity.

In this regard, Linde related how the institution responded to two requests for emergency liquidity by the Popular, on June 5 and 6, and that, in order to approve them, they had to ask the bank for guarantees, which was not a "whim" of the regulator, but obeyed an obligation imposed by European regulations.

Despite this, he acknowledged that it was not possible to grant all the help requested by the Saracho team because the necessary guarantees had not been presented, and that once it was decreed that the Popular was bankrupt or close to bankruptcy, the only function of the Banco de España was deciding whether Santander was "solid enough, powerful and capable" to take over the entity.


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