Madrid, Jul 19 (.) .- The Supreme Court has clarified that the acquittal of the 34 defendants in the Bankia case, including its former president Rodrigo Rato, does not affect the civil lawsuits filed by investors as a result of the exit to the Stock Exchange, and that even today, a decade later, are settled in the courts.
In a recent ruling, to which . has had access, the Civil Chamber considers the appeal of a couple who made several purchases of shares -also in the secondary market-, always in the retail section, and emphasizes that it is due to a liability requirement for a brochure that has nothing to do with criminal proceedings.
The plaintiffs invested 15,000 euros in shares of Bankia’s IPO, held on July 20, 2011; a year later, after Rato’s resignation was made public, they carried out seven purchase transactions for a total of 92,690 euros.
But a few days later they sold all the titles for an amount of 62,470 euros, that is, 45,220 euros less than the total purchase value.
The couple then requested compensation for damages suffered by the depreciation of the shares, since the information contained in the operation brochure “was not correct.”
Bankia acquiesced in the claim regarding the securities acquired on the occasion of the stock market debut, but not those purchased on the secondary market already in 2012.
Arguments that were rejected by the Court of First Instance number 4 of Xátiva (Valencia), which found it proven that the purchase of shares took place “on the basis and content of Bankia accounting information that was not correct”.
This, he continued, “was the same both in the first of the acquisitions – carried out in 2011 – and later (…) since it was prior to the communication of the reformulation of accounts to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) “, which showed a loss of 3,000 million euros.
However, the Valencia Provincial Court determined that the losses suffered by the last actions, sold a week later for a significantly lower price, could not be compensated.
Now the Supreme Court confirms the first verdict: it insists that “the responsibility of the issuer derives from the information that appears in the brochure, until the reformulation of the accounts”, and adds that it is their obligation to answer for “the damages caused (. ..) as a result of false information or omissions of relevant data in the brochure “.
Regarding the specific case of Bankia, its information “until May 25, 2012 (date of reformulation) contained data that appeared to be solvency and strength and, however, did not adjust to the true economic situation of the entity at that time. “.
At this point, the magistrates reject one of the bank’s proposals, which alleged the acquittal of the “Bankia case”, handed down by the fourth section of the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court last September, and which exonerated of any responsibility criminal to the 34 accused.
Said ruling, issued by the same court that previously convicted Rato and the rest of the users of the controversial “black” cards from Caja Madrid and Bankia, considered that the brochure that was delivered to investors “contained extensive and accurate” information.
The Supreme Court reiterates that that of the National High Court is a “criminal sentence (…) that does not declare the inexistence of the fact or facts prosecuted, so it does not produce binding res judicata effects in a civil proceeding.”
Likewise, he points out, “there is not even evidence that it is firm”, and that is that the Criminal Chamber of the High Court still has pending to elucidate the appeals of two private accusations against the acquittal of the former directors.
For the court, the key is that although the crime is ruled out in criminal proceedings, this does not exclude that when assessing the liability for a prospectus provided for in the Securities Market Law “it may be considered that the Bankia prospectus contained false information or omitted data relevant “.
And it is that, criminal and civil liability have “different nature”, continue the magistrates, who recall that liability by brochure “does not require” that all the requirements that do have to be demonstrated to be convicted of a possible investor scam are met. .
(c) . Agency