Francisco Celma, the consulting partner of Deloitte, has assured today during the trial for Bankia's IPO that he could not draft the audit report of the 2011 entity's accounts because the BFA-Bankia managers were months without giving him the relevant information he needed. The questioning of the auditor, one of the most anticipated, has begun almost at the end of today's session with the questions of particular accusations.
Celma has reported that he informed the members of the audit committees of BFA and Bankia of their problems with the data: "I shared with them all the documentation that was pending and that prevented us from doing our fieldwork". This happened, according to his account, in the commissions of March 26 and 27, 2012. In the specific case of Bankia, Celma said: "Before the formulation of accounts I told the members of the commission that, given the relevance of the information to receive and analyze, we were not in a position to provide an audit draft because we had not been able to do our job ".
Although during the instruction of the Celma case, he assured that on March 26, 2012 he warned the audit committee that there were reasonable doubts about the viability of Bankia, in his statement today he has avoided pronouncing himself so clearly. In instruction, his statement contradicted the version of the majority of the accused counselors, among them Ángel Acebes, who was chairman of the audit committee until April 2012. The majority declared then and have done it again during the trial that Deloitte never objected to the accounts and have ensured not knowing why Celma did not deliver the report nor the audit draft.
Some counselors have mentioned in their interrogations that they knew that the auditor was analyzing data that were missing, but that in No case Deloitte told them to think about including qualifications or that there was a problem with the accounts.
BFA-Bankia sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) the annual accounts corresponding to the year 2011 without the corresponding audit report. He did it on the last day, on April 30, 2012. Nine days later the resignation of Rodrigo Rato, its president (bound by the President of the Government, as stated in the trial), and accelerated the fall of the banking colossus. Bankia needed a rescue of 22,424 million public money.
In his statement at the beginning of the trial, Rodrigo Rato said that both the Bankia board of directors and the BFA board were convinced that the auditor was not going to make any negative comments about the accounts, but admitted to hearing the concern of the audit partner, Francisco Celma, also prosecuted, for the valuation of Bankia shares in BFA's balance sheet.
Celma has also reported that she sent a 12-page email on March 23, 2012 detailing all the documentation that was not being delivered to her, much of it (five pages, she has specified) related to real estate investment. "There has been a lot of talk about missing appraisals, but a lot of information is also requested on real estate investment," he said. The auditor also pointed out that at that time Bankia was "the Spanish entity with the largest portfolio of real estate assets in the country".
The private and popular accusations ask for Celma 12 years in prison for crimes of falsification of accounts and fraud to investors as a necessary cooperator. The prosecutor does not accuse him.
The reformulation of the accounts
Before Celma, the general auditor of Bankia, Sergio Durá, has answered questions from the Anticorruption prosecutor and his lawyer, and has focused, among other issues, on the reformulation of Bankia's accounts for 2011. The inspectors of the Bank of Spain who acted as judicial experts of the Bankia case consider that this reformulation, carried out on May 25, 2012, already with the current Bankia president, José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, was irregular.
Durá has ensured that the main reason for the reformulation was the real estate sector and the "brutal crash" that occurred between April and May of that year, which upset the market by dropping prices. "Now nobody remembers, but then they talked about the breakup of the European Union, that Spain could leave the euro, nobody wanted to invest in Spain and when that happens, prices fall," said former Bankia Araceli Mora, who belonged to the audit committee of the entity, refused to sign the reformulation, as he explained during his interrogation at the trial, he opposed it because he considered that only accounts can be reformulated in case of error, not because they have changed the forecasts .