Fraud trial for Rodrigo Rato over Bankia collapse [Telegraph]

Rodrigo Rato, chairman of ailing Spanish lender Bankia SA


Mr Rato, who quit as chairman of the bank in May just before it was bailed out to the tune of €23.5bn (£18.9bn), is named alongside 32 other Bankia managers in a lawsuit brought by UPyD, one of Spain’s smaller political parties.

Hours after the legal probe was announced, Bankia’s chief executive Francisco Verdu, abruptly quit, announcing the move in a one sentence regulatory filing.

Spain’s top national court on accepted the suit, alleging fraud, price-fixing, embezzlement and falsifying accounts, though no date has yet been set for the hearings.

Anti-corruption judges had already opened a preliminary investigation into alleged fraud relating to the founding of Bankia, formed from the merger of seven regional savings banks, and its controversial stock market listing last year.

The two-stage Bankia bail-out – an initial €4.5bn swiftly followed by a further €19bn – signalled a dangerous new phase in the Spanish banking crisis.

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