The National Court has confirmed the fine of 500,000 euros that the National Securities Market Commission ( CNMV ) imposed on Banco Popular for the malfunction of its customer service between January 2012 and February 2014.
In a recent ruling, the Contentious-Administrative Chamber rejects the appeal of the entity -now part of Banco Santander- , which challenged before the Justice the decision of the Ministry of Economy to maintain the sanction.
The events date back to the end of October 2015, when the Executive Committee of the CNMV agreed to open an administrative file to punish the Popular for the alleged commission of a serious infraction contained in the Securities Market Law.
The file originated as a result of the report issued by the agency’s Supervision department, which detected a series of deficiencies in customer service between January 1, 2012 and February 28, 2014.
Specifically, it alluded to the breach of the duty to attend and resolve a significant number of claims submitted by the entity’s clients , as well as to answer them within the legal period of two months.
Popular’s appeal dismissed
In its appeal, the bank, resolved on June 7, 2017 at the request of Europe and acquired that same day by Banco Santander, alleged a series of infractions that the agency would have committed when imposing the fine.
Thus, Popular claimed that it should have been the Bank of Spain , and not the CNMV, who punished these events, and defended that the percentage of disputed claims was “low” compared to the global number of attended.
Now the room emphasizes that Popular, as a listed company that it was at the time, was subject to the Securities Market Law, “because of a malfunction of its customer service that is related to claims (.. .) for these investment services is punishable “by this regulation.
On the other hand, it considers that the percentage of disputed claims “is significant” , and is that, as the inspection proved, in the aforementioned period the entity “did not respond to 15% of those presented, and resolved with delay of almost 30 % “
Fees “completely relevant that show a malfunction, which justifies the imposition of a sanction, ” the magistrates emphasize.
In the same way, the National Court reproaches that the Popular alleges a “collaboration bonus that does not appear” , when it is a duty “to which all entities subject to supervision of the CNMV are obliged.”
Along these lines, it also does not warn of the mitigation of “alleged correction” on its own initiative , while “in no case” was it possible to solve this situation “prior” to the opening of the file.
For all this, the sentence, of which the magistrate José Félix Méndez has been rapporteur, dismisses the appeal of the Popular .