Former Spain central bank chief investigated for failed IPO

MADRID (AP) — Spain's National Court is summoning the former heads of Spain's central bank and the stock market watchdog to be questioned for failing to stop the disastrous flotation of a savings bank that had to be bailed out.

Eight officials, including former Bank of Spain governor Miguel Angel Fernandez Ordonez and Julio Seguro, the former president of market regulator CNMV, allegedly failed to stop Bankia's listing in 2011 despite "repeated warnings" the bank was "unviable," according to an investigation led by the court's magistrates.

Created by merging the assets of seven struggling Spanish banks, Bankia offered shares in an initial public offering in July 2011 and initially reported a profit for the year of 309 million euro ($327 million.) Months later, it amended its statements to show a 3 billion euro loss.

The lender was nationalized in 2012 after a rescue that cost Spanish taxpayers around 22 billion euros ($23 billion.)

Former International Monetary Fund chief Rodrigo Rato stepped down as chairman of Bankia at the time of the IPO. Rato since has been investigated in separate, but related cases of alleged corruption.

Internal central bank reports made clear the savings bank's "severe and growing problems of profitability, liquidity and solvency," a court order issued Monday stated, citing emails that are part of the evidence in the probe.

The Bank of Spain said Monday that three of the officials summoned currently serve in its supervisory departments and would resign Tuesday during a board meeting.

The bank said in a statement that supervisory managing director Mariano Herrera Garcia-Canturri; his deputy, Pedro Comin Rodriguez; and inspections head Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez would quit to keep the court's inquiry from affecting the bank's work.