Spain’s Ex-Central Bank Governor Absolved in Bankia Case

Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez, the former governor of the Bank of Spain, was absolved of possible criminal acts in the Bankia SA case, along with seven other central bank and regulatory officials.

Their omission of not taking action to prevent the Spanish commercial bank’s initial public offering wasn’t a criminal action -- even though its accounts may have been untruthful -- and the officials’ passivity didn’t result from jointly engaging in fraud, according to a summary of the decision by the National Court released Friday.

Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez

Photographer: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

One magistrate on the three-member panel dissented, holding that some of the officials participated in fraudulent financial accounting at Bankia, and in a resulting fraud on its investors. The former savings bank lost more than 97 percent of its value in the first two years after the July 2011 IPO.

The dissenting magistrate, Clara Bayarri, and the others however decided that Deloitte SL has potential criminal responsibility for its role in auditing the bank, overturning a lower court that ruled only civil charges may apply to the accounting firm.

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