Spain’s BBVA is put under formal investigation on spying case

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Spain’s second biggest bank BBVA has been charged with corruption for alleged corporate spying involving a disgraced former police chief, a court said Monday.

Spain’s National Court, which handles major financial cases, charged the bank with “corruption and breach of confidence”, a spokeswoman for the court said.

The announcement comes five days after prosecutors asked that the bank be charged.

Spain’s High Court on Monday placed the country’s second-largest bank BBVA under formal investigation as part of a probe into an alleged spying case that dates back to 2004, the court said in a statement.

The decision follows a request by the anti-corruption public prosecutor last week and will see BBVA investigated on charges of bribery, disclosure secrets and corruption in relation to the company’s alleged dealings with former police chief Jose Manuel Villarejo.

BBVA declined to comment on Monday. In a statement last Wednesday, executive Chairman Carlos Torres reiterated his “firm commitment to clarifying the facts and complying with the law, for which we will continue to collaborate actively with the judicial system”.

Via Reuters / Financial Times/ France 24

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