GOOD GRIEF: Santander chief Alfredo Sáenz resigns.
One of Europe's most powerful bankers, the Santander chief executive, Alfredo Sáenz, has resigned after a long-running row about whether he should be banned from heading the eurozone's largest bank.
The shock replacement of 70-year-old Sáenz by internal candidate Javier Marín comes just two weeks after the Bank of Spain ordered a review into whether or not he would meet new rules governing bank executives with criminal convictions. Sáenz was convicted in 2009, and handed a three-month suspended jail sentence, for deliberately making false allegations against four businessman who owed money to his previous bank, Banesto.
The businessmen were remanded in jail in 1993, but later proved their innocence. Sixteen years later they won a case against Sáenz. Under Spain's banking rules at the time, the sentence automatically meant he would have been declared unfit to run a bank as soon as the appeal process ran out.
The bastard --yes, I know this is not neutral language, but I'm partial on this: I know the people who were sent to prison for a while, being innocent, because of him-- is walking with a €88m pension, though. It's him who should have gone to the slam.