The last session of the week of Bankia trial has seen parading this Wednesday on the bench of the National Audience to the former vice president of the entity, José Luis Olivas, and five former directors of the parent company, BFA.Bankia, members in turn of the audit committee. These five have answered questions from their lawyers and all have agreed to ensure that nobody warned them that there was some problem with the accounts of the year 2011.
These accounts were approved without the audit report because the auditor was analyzing some data that were missing, the five ex-advisors have reported (Mercedes Rojo, Remigio Pellicer, Pedro Bedia and José Rafael García-Fuster). In no case did the auditor, Deloitte, tell them that they thought to include exceptions or that there was a problem with the accounts, they all agreed. The ex-advisors have not responded to the Anticorruption Prosecutor's Office or the Fund for Orderly Bank Restructuring (FROB), which do not accuse them; nor to popular and private accusations, which ask for penalties of up to 12 years in prison for swindling investors and falsifying accounts.
BFA-Bankia sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) the annual accounts corresponding to the year 2011 without the corresponding audit report. 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.
The five ex-advisers of BFA have reported on Wednesday that in the audit committee prior to the formulation of the accounts by the board of directors, Deloitte auditor Francisco Celma assured them that the audit report was not finished due to the fact that it was pending. information that had to be analyzed with the bank's address, so once it was received and analyzed it would issue said report. This has been assured by both Mercedes Rojo and Remigio Pellicer. "We had the feeling that everything had been done well," said Pedro Bedia.
The defendants have added that the chairman of the audit committee, Angel Acebes, gave them the same information on the audit in the board of directors on March 28, 2012. At questions of his lawyer, García-Fuster has also assured that he had no no knowledge of a PwC report that valued 11,500 million provisions that Bankia had to endow against reserves. This report contravened the plan to integrate the savings banks made by AFI and Deloitte. "I have never had knowledge of that report until I have arrived in this room," he underlined.
Positive report of the EBA
The former vice president of Bankia, José Luis Olivas, who was speaking for the third consecutive day, assured that the positive report of the European Banking Authority (EBA, in its acronym in English) about the Bankia's going public gave "a lot of confidence" to the managers. Olivas answered his lawyer's questions Wednesday and stressed that this report convinced them that they were doing the right thing.
"Probably if it had not been so positive we could have even considered whether or not to maintain the IPO, but a report from the EBA tells you that you have approved the stress tests and that there are sufficient guarantees, and even qualifies that if the generic provisions that we had the Spanish entities compute as their own resources, then it would still be better to photograph Bankia, "said Olivas, reports Europa Press.
Olivas also said he invested 150,000 euros of his assets in shares of Bankia and asked his family to invest in the stock market because he was convinced of the viability and profitability of the investment.
The trial is resumed next Monday, March 4, with the interrogation of Ángel Acebes, responsible for the audit committees of Bankia and BFA and Minister of Public Administration, Justice and Interior for two terms of the Government of José María Aznar.