BANKIA officials including former chairman Rodrigo Rato are to face a fraud inquiry in the High Court in Madrid.
The 33 current and former top executives are accused of fraud, price-fixing and falsifying accounts in the case, opened following a lawsuit by the UPyD political party.
The Spanish government took control of Bankia in May as it struggled with billions of euros of debt linked to the property market.
The fraud probe comes as Bankia’s chief executive Jose Ignacio Goirigolzarri told a shareholders meeting that the lender plans to shed half of its €60 billion property portfolio by 2015.
The bank will also improve its cost-income ratio to 40 per cent, from its current level of 60 per cent, in the same timescale.
Interesting to note that Spain’s 15m (Democracia Real Ya) movement initiated these criminal charges as they raised money to sue Rato, and then the attorney general took up the baton, so to speak: