MADRID, June 24 Spain's FROB fund, which handles
the government's stakes in bailed out lenders, said on Tuesday
it is preparing to take legal action against several former
savings bank managers concerning the financial crisis.
FROB, which along with Spain's deposit guarantee fund has
spent over 61 billion euros ($83 billion) rescuing ailing banks
in recent years, has over the past year been reviewing how the
lenders were managed and investigating suspicious operations.
"The work ... is close to being finished in most cases,
which should allow for new legal actions come the autumn,"
Fernando Restoy, Chairman of the FROB told a parliamentary
Spain's savings banks, which were usually controlled by
local governments or other public authorities, were hit hard by
a 2008 property crash, after which many of their ill-advised
real estate investments turned sour.
Their troubles forced Spain to ask Europe for 41.3 billion
euros in aid to help the weakest in 2012, and most of these
"cajas" have now disappeared, after they were absorbed by rival
Few bankers have so far been tried or investigated over the
2008 financial crisis as courts find it hard to pin the blame on
Probes into failed savings banks in Spain have only yielded
convictions in the case of one small savings bank, Caixa
Penedes, whose office network was eventually bought by Banco
Four former directors were found guilty in May of improper
management by awarding themselves close to 30 million euros in
pension payments, though they avoided jail as they had repaid
more of the funds and prison sentences were short enough to be
suspended under Spanish law.
Restoy did not detail which lenders would be affected by the
new legal actions.
Bankia, the biggest bailed out lender still in
state hands, is already being investigated by Spain's High Court
over how it was managed in the run-up to its share market
flotation in 2011, a year before it nearly collapsed.
Meanwhile several former executives from the Caja de Ahorros
del Mediterraneo (CAM), another small savings bank from the
Valencia region which needed a costly bailout, are set to go on
(Reporting by Jesus Aguado; Writing by Sarah White; Editing by