A former director of the banking giant whose implosion forced Spain to seek a €100 billion bank bailout has admitted she doesn’t know anything about finance.
Mercedes Rojo-Izquierdo, a former adviser to the regional government of Madrid, which is run by the ruling Popular Party, appeared as a witness before the National Criminal Court in Madrid, which is investigating alleged mismanagement in Bankia. The judge is examining claims of falsification of accounts, false administration, misappropriation of funds and price-fixing.
Ms Rojo, who was paid €374,000 by Bankia in 2011, said she had qualifications in chemistry, not finance. When Bankia’s accounts for 2011 were presented, Ms Rojo told the court that she “didn’t understand anything”.
She joined the Bankia board in December 2010, when the lender was formed from the fusion of seven regional savings banks. Before that, she had been on the board of Caja Madrid, one of the country’s biggest savings banks, since 2006.
Bankia’s board was filled with appointees with a political background. Other Bankia executives included Ángel Acebes, a former Interior Minister in the centre-right government of José María Aznar, and José Luis Olivas, the former president of Bancaja, one of Spain’s biggest savings banks.
Don\’t you think that political acceptability is more important than technical ability?