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Report: ECB requests Spanish court for information on BBVA wiretapping case

The European Central Bank has requested Spain's High Court to send it information regarding an alleged wiretapping investigation into Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA to analyze any potential impact on the lender's governance, Reuters reported, citing a source familiar with the case.

The watchdog reached out to the court for details after BBVA failed to satisfy its initial request for information on the investigation, according to Spanish radio Cadena SER. BBVA told Reuters in a statement that it informed the ECB it could not disclose any details of the case due to Spain's court privacy laws and that the regulator would have to get the information directly from the presiding judge.

According to Cadena SER, the ECB has promised High Court Judge Manuel Garcia-Castello to keep the requested information confidential but has yet to hear back from the court on the matter, the report said.

In July, the court officially placed BBVA under formal investigation for alleged bribery and corruption. The lender was alleged to have paid large sums of money in 2004 to a security company to spy on executives and government officials who favored a takeover of the bank. BBVA's former executive chairman, Francisco Gonzalez, is also being investigated for his role in the allegations.

The Bilbao-based bank has also been carrying out its own probe into the matter since June 2018.