Santander's chief executive has been handed a jail sentence and barred from working as a banker for three months by Spain's Supreme Court.
The verdict is an embarrassing blow to the reputation of Alfredo Saenz, whose bank is one of Britain's biggest high street lenders.
Mr Saenz will not serve time in prison after the court's judgment in a 14-year case against him. He was found guilty of false accusations against debtors to Banesto in 1994 when he headed the bank which is now part of Santander.
He will appeal against the ban and the sentence in a process that Santander said could take up to four years.
In any case, he would not have to go to prison because first-time offenders given short sentences are spared jail in Spain.
Santander said they supported Mr Saenz, who is the right-hand man to the flamboyant chairman, Emilio Botin.
He was originally sentenced to six months in prison in 2009 and has made several appeals.Reuse content