The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2021 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Botín serenely contemplates 150-year sentence

You don't become chairman of Santander Central Hispano, Spain's largest bank, and the undisputed don of Spanish finance, if you're easily flustered. But Emilio Botín is something else. He was quizzed recently by Spanish journalists about how he felt about the 150-year jail sentence he's facing for alleged tax fraud. Serene, he told them.

Santander's Emilo Botin is the latest target of Spain's judiciary

Botín is the latest high-profile target for Spain's very active judiciary. Judge Teresa Palacios has been given permission to begin proceedings against him and four former directors of Banco Santander (as it was at the time of the alleged offences) by the Audiencia Nacional, Spain's highest court. The charges relate to the bank's activities in the late 1980s.

In 1987 the Santander Group began to market its now infamous cesiones de crédito, or loan assignments. The assignment was developed by Santander. It involved selling investors the credit risk on corporate loans without, in most cases, withholding the returns. In this way, the investor was able to avoid paying tax on the holdings at 25%.

Santander sold some Ptas430 billion ($2.6 billion) of loan assignments up to 1991. At the time the product was marketed the practice was legal. But a tax loophole was subsequently closed, creating a tax liability of around Ptas145 billion.

That debt was settled. But then allegations emerged of irregularities in some of the accounts. It was alleged that the title deeds on nearly 10,000 of the securities had been changed with the intention of concealing from the Spanish treasury the true identities of their owners.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.

SUBSCRIBE ONLINE TODAY

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually

FREE 7 DAY TRIAL

Unlimited access to Euromoney.com and Asiamoney.com, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors

LOGIN NOW

Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree