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SRB still holds most of the cards after Banco Popular shareholders’ partial victory

The Single Resolution Board was wrong to wholly redact the Spanish bank’s valuation report but it will fight hard to keep its workings as opaque as possible.


On November 28, the Appeals Panel of the Single Resolution Board published its conclusions on the SRB resolution of Spain’s Banco Popular. The bank’s sale to Banco Santander prompted a record number of legal cases against the procedure and decision-making that led to the takeover.

A particularly contentious part of the disputes concerns SRB’s refusal to release an unredacted version of the valuation report prepared by Deloitte that backed its decision to declare the bank failing or likely to fail. It did this on the grounds that it could cause market instability.

The SRB argues that access to documents can be denied on the basis of Article 90(4) of the single resolution mechanism regulation, a position confirmed by its legal advisers Linklaters. Banco Popular shareholders argue that all data and information used in the valuation report were those of Banco Popular and therefore its shareholders were not third parties to which concerns over confidentiality could be applied.

The Appeals Panel ruling stated that it had “carefully reviewed the Valuation Report and finds that several data, information, valuations and predictions which are shown in the Valuation Report should not raise actual concerns of financial stability nor relate to confidential information of commercial interest for the Banco Popular or for the purchaser”.

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