The Audiencia of Barcelona has acquitted the former president of CatalunyaCaixa Narcís Serra and the former director general of the entity Adolf Todó in the case of the bonuses paid in 2010 to the old dome of that banking entity. Both the former vice-president of the Government and the former chief executive of the entity faced a three-year prison request from the Office of the Prosecutor. The sentence fails: "The facts declared proven are not constitutive of the crime of unfair administration or of misappropriation", as defended by the accusations. The acquittal also affects the rest of the 39 members that formed the board of directors when they were taken the decisions, in 2010 and 2011.
The trial focused on salary increases benefited by Todó and his right hand, Jaume Massana, which coincided with the bad situation of the entity, which had to receive between 2010 and 2012 a total of 12,052 million euros. During the trial, Serra argued that the salary improvement responded to a pact with Todó when he joined the bank, which was executed in the fear that he could leave the bank and aggravate the bank's financial situation.
Todó joined Catalunya Caixa in 2008 with a salary of 600,000 euros, while his number two charged 371,000 euros more variable. In 2010, a 50% salary improvement was approved for the first two executives. The salary increase of Todó had a cost for the entity of 415,000 euros, while the improvement for the deputy director was a note of 331,000 euros. Subsequently, a slight increase was again made, in this case with an impact of 37,000 euros.
"There is no criminal behavior in the salary increases or in the process that led to its approval," says the ruling, although the eighth section of the Audiencia de Barcelona admits that the decision was taken in a very delicate situation, but underlines the "nonexistence of elements that allow to typify the agreements pursued as a crime".
The text made public today dismisses the accusations by the agreements taken in the board of directors of the box in which, in the middle of the economic crisis, "with a notable reduction in benefits, the salary of several of the main responsible parties is increased".
During the trial the former president of CatalunyaCaixa, Narcís Serra, defended that the Bank of Spain knew the salary increases of the board of directors of the entity that were approved in 2010. "I am convinced," he said in his statement before the judge, thus ensuring that both the central bank and the Generalitat, which had inspectorate capacity over savings banks, knew the decision. Serra indicated, however, that for this type of communication "the system was often only telephone".
The prosecutor of the case reduced from four to three years the request for prison sentences for the heads of the entity for two crimes of unfair administration for the increase in salaries, in addition to a fine. The representative of the public ministry estimated the economic damage of raising the salary to Todó by more than 415,000 euros.