Spain's 'Fred the Shred' Aurelio Izquierdo will get a €14m payout


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The Independent Online

Spain now has its own version of Fred "The Shred" Goodwin after it emerged that Aurelio Izquierdo, the former finance director at the financially crippled Bankia, is due to receive a €14m (£11m) payout despite the bank asking for a €19bn state bailout.

As in the UK four years ago – when Mr Goodwin stayed at No 1 in the public enemy charts for weeks – the political classes who were no doubt aware of the largesse extended to Bankia executives now appear shocked at the deal.

The news that bankers who raked in huge profits during Spain's artificially inflated property bubble are receiving such huge payouts has seen political parties as diverse as the governing centre-right Partido Popular (PP) and the Catalan Republic Left for once united in their ferocious criticism.

Rafael Hernándo, a PP spokesman, described the payout, which Mr Izquierdo could receive as soon as this summer, as "immoral", whilst Joán Tardá, an ERC parliamentary deputy, said that if he were a Bankia executive, he "wouldn't feel very safe in the street" given the numbers of "desperate people" out there.

"It is shameful, an insult... unacceptable," Mr Tardá added before calling Bankia's management "a real mafia. Not only are we screwed over, there are people who are making the most of this situation".

Bankia, whose 2011 losses, initially reported as €30m, were later discovered to be 100 times that, has been at pains to point out that Mr Izquierdo's payout would not come from the bailout cash. Instead it forms part of funds already accounted for at Bancaja, one of the seven savings banks which merged to form Bankia in 2011.

Mr Izquierdo is far from alone. The Spanish press reported yesterday that about €136m is due in payouts to bank executives quitting bankrupt or merged lenders, including €6.16m to Matías Amat, another former high-flier at Bankia, who retired last autumn.