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Spanish bank chief to be barred: report

Spain’s Supreme Court has barred Banco Santander’s chief executive from running a banking institution and given him an eight month suspended jail sentence, the daily El Mundo said Monday.

Santander’s Alfredo Saenz was punished for making a false accusation and for procedural fraud in a case dating back to 1994 when he was running Santander affiliate Banesto, the paper said.

Saenz was found guilty of authorising false accusations of fraud and concealment of assets against four executives while knowing they were innocent as a way of applying pressure to recover a bank loan, it said.

The four victims of the false accusations were detained, and three of them spent several days in jail.

Although Saenz had already been sentenced over the matter a year ago by a Barcelona court, the victims and public prosecutor appealed for a stiffer penalty.

The Supreme Court convicted Saenz of procedural fraud over the affair, a charge which he had escaped previously, and applied the additional penalty of being prohibited from running any bank.

The Supreme Court decision was made in December and its ruling will be released in a few days, El Mundo said, without identifying a source for the story.

Santander shares fell 1.06 percent to 8.40 euros by early afternoon on a market that was broadly lower.