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Spain to allow criminals to head Banks

Source: El Pais - Tue 22th Jan 2013
Spain to allow criminals to head Banks

Yesterday the Government began the preparation for a royal decree which could see the requirements of integrity, experience and good governance being removed for those heading up the country's Banks.

According to the draft legislation, the Bank of Spain would be able to use it's own discretion with regards to the chequered past of all candidates.

For the first time ever, having been convicted for criminal offences will not be enough to prevent an executive from taking a senior role in a bank.

The text of the new decree states that "anyone who has been able to demonstrate that their personal, commercial and professional conduct does not throw into doubt their capacity to diligently and prudently manage a bank" will be eligible.

If a candidate happened to be the subject of an on-going criminal trial, the Bank of Spain will consider "whether the sentence or sanction is final; the severity of the sentence or sanction handed down; and the classification of the facts that led to the sentence."

The Decree also considers whether the offenses are related to money laundering, tax evasion, Social Security fraud or violations of the regulatory framework covering banking.

Another issue that will be taken into account is "the time that has passed since the events took place," as well as any "extenuating circumstances," and "subsequent behaviour."

Also to be considered is whether there are "repeated sentences or sanctions due to offenses or infractions."

Sources from the Economy Ministry have said that these new rules are in accordance with the guidelines set down by the European Banking Authority (EBA).

Legal sources have suggested that this legal reform could work to the advantage of Alfredo Sáenz, the chief executive of Spain's Santander bank, should the appeal underway against his pardon prosper. Sáenz was sentenced to 3 months jail time for false accusation, but was subsequently pardoned by the courts.

Comment on this Story

 
Ah, I get it now.! Not only are the Government ignoring the abundance of 'brown envelopes' but they are now officially condoning criminals to pass them around. Silly me.!
David - Thu, 24th Jan 2013
I agree with you Geoff, but I think that the significant and worrying thing here is that the Gov't is actively writing it into law. It as though they are not just so much "turning a blind eye" to the practice, but actually approving of it !
Mr Grumpy - Thu, 24th Jan 2013
This just means that convicted criminals as well as those unconvicted criminals can run the banks. Not a lot of change there then !
Geoff - Thu, 24th Jan 2013
I always thought they did...!!! Am I missing something here?
David - Tue, 22nd Jan 2013