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Banco Popular ordered to return investment in 2016 capital increase

Banco Popular Español SA must return an investment in its €2.5 billion 2016 capital increase following a ruling by a Spanish court, El Economista reported March 28.

The bank was ordered to return €5,455.65 plus interest to a retail investor because it did not give reliable information about its financial situation, the report said.

The ruling is significant because Banco Popular was acquired by Banco Santander SA in a fire sale for €1 after European authorities said the bank was failing. Investors have filed various lawsuits following the sale, including at least one against the executives responsible for the 2016 capital increase, alleging that they misled investors and falsified accounts.

Spanish news agency Efe said, meanwhile, that former Popular Chairman Emilio Saracho had asked not to appear as a witness in a case brought by a Popular shareholder in a Barcelona court, saying it could infringe on his defense in a criminal case.