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 Cookiesbefore using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

European banking: The Spanish inquisition

Santander’s takeover of Banco Popular was certainly in the public interest, but did it break EU law?


The weight of claims stacking up at the European Court of Justice against the Single Resolution Board’s decision to place Banco Popular Espanol into resolution in June is quite impressive: between June 7 and September 28, 75 separate cases were filed at the ECJ. 

The chances of success for any of these actions would seem to be very thin, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping investors bringing them. 

The ins and outs of the speedy decision by the SRB to place the troubled bank into resolution and sell it to Spanish rival Santander for €1 have been well discussed. 

As the dust settles and the nature of the claims that have been brought against the decision become slightly clearer, there seem to be some fundamental questions about the transparency of decision-making at the new resolution board that could do with closer scrutiny.

The nature of the run on the bank is central to this. For a troubled bank to experience a run is hardly unexpected. The key issues here are whether or not the SRB’s own actions exacerbated the run and why the bank was not kept on emergency support until June 9, which would have given the regulators more breathing space to examine their options.

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.


Unlimited access to and

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


Unlimited access to and, 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


Already a user?