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El Popular did not violate corporate governance or internal control between 2014 and 2016, according to expert witness Manso

Banco Popular did not fail to comply with corporate governance or internal control between 2014 and 2016, according to one of the experts suggested by the entity’s former president Ángel Ron, who ruled that the board of directors was aware of Banco’s expansion. Funded popularity.

In addition, the expert separates Ron from relations with Thesan Capital, which is suspected of some allegations that could hide an alleged network of irregular financing in Luxembourg, since refinancing in 2015 did not go through the board of directors but through the management committee, under the chairmanship of the committee. CEO, then Francisco Gómez, and where he did not have a presence.

These are some of the expert’s conclusions, which Efe had access to, from the founder and president of the financial consultancy Mansolivar, Rubén Manso, who analyzes the corporate governance of Banco Popular from 2015 to February 20, 2017, when Ron’s term will be. as the president of the council concludes.

Among other aspects, the document deals with the alleged financing that the entity would have granted to investors to buy shares of the 2016 capital increase, which the members of the council were not aware of, argues Manso, who refers to ‘content of the meeting minutes of this body.

In this regard, he recalls that during the supervision the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Bank of Spain said that the amount alleged to be deductible from Popular’s capital for this practice – investigated in a separate case by Judge Santiago Pedraz -, about 51 million euros. , was not significant.

Regarding appraisals, another of the red lines of the investigations, the text emphasizes that the accounting functions fell under the area of ​​Financial Management, depending on the Chief Executive Officer, and adds that the supervision of the ECB indicated that the entity had fewer provisions than the industry average, “time was spent” investigating this concern.

At this point, he mentions the so-called “Sunrise project”, one of the axes of the restructuring plan devised by Ron in 2016, shortly before he took over as president, and he planned to divest 15,000 million in non-productive assets before 2018, with the help of creating a “bad bank.”

«A plan was established to resolve the perceived weaknesses​​​​. Its only non-compliance would lead to supervisory actions and sanctions, where appropriate”, shows the expert opinion on this initiative, which was “abandoned for reasons related to the change of address of the entity”, after the arrival of Emilio Saracho.

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The work also stops at the relationship with Thesan Capital, in light of the allegations and the Bank of Spain’s own experts, who warned of possible “accounting irregularities”.

In fact, in the work sent to the judge last December, the agency’s experts argued that since 2012, Popular had improperly accounted for the operations in which Thesan participated, a behavior that led to a deficit resulting in a supply of approximately 521 million euros. euros.

Now Manso asserts that the bank had “effective procedures to identify, manage, control and communicate the risks to which it was or may be exposed”, and that the refinancing was always carried out with “individual analysis” to prove their viability.

Those related to Thesan, which depended on Retail Banking, were prepared by a specialized department, the Office of Restructuring and Offenses of the Territorial Directorate, and their accounting depended on the General Intervention, which was linked to the CEO.

In this sense, he clarifies that “Thesan’s restructuring operation was not a matter of discussion by the board of directors, because it was recommended by the Committee for Purchases and Payments and authorized by the Management Committee”, in which the Chief Executive Officer was only present. not the president.

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