FIVE former bank executives for Novacaixagalicia bank have been jailed over their combined severance packages of €19 million, which they took while knowing that the bank was on the brink of collapse.
Spain’s highest court has ruled that the five men should be jailed because “these are people who managed a savings bank that had to be rescued by the state.”
The case goes back to 2010 when the men were executives at the bank and received large severance packages on leaving.
The next year, the bank, along with several other Spanish financial institutions, was nationalised and Spain was forced to ask for a bailout of €41.3 billion from the European Union, with Novacaixagalicia receiving €9 billion.
The bank was later sold for just €1 billion in 2013.
The defence for the five men, who are aged between 59 and 85, had initially asked that their convictions for embezzlement carry a suspended sentence. However, the national court has passed a jail sentence, noting that a fine owed had still not been paid and stating that “the gravity of the offence, given its macroeconomic impact, means it is necessary that the five go to prison, in the interest of avoiding impunity.”