Sven Giegold

Greens’ letter to EBA chair: Campa must clarify financial interest in Banco Santander

In a letter to the new EBA chief José Manuel Campa, Greens/EFA members Ernest Urtasun, Philippe Lamberts and Sven Giegold ask for a clarification regarding his declaration of interest. In the publicly available declaration Campa stated that he has an economic interest in Banco Santander, his former employer, by shares which are “required to maintain until up to Feb/2023”. Most likely, these shares stem from deferred variable remuneration at Santander that he has not received to date. This is a potential conflict of interest as Banco Santander is subject to EBA’s regulatory activities and oversight. According to the staff regulation, officials have to divest from shares which bear conflicts of interest.

MEP Sven Giegold, financial and economic policy spokesperson of the Greens/EFA group commented:

“While Campa’s is doing a good job at EBA since half a year, his financial stake in his former employer Banco Santander raises concerns regarding a potential conflict of interest. Campa needs to explain whether he has done the maximum possible to forego the shares he is entitled to until 2023. EBA has to explain why Campa wasn’t obliged to forego the entitlements to shares before taking up his duties at a public agency. There remain questions whether EBA could have imposed more far-reaching restrictions than those applied to effectively avoid this conflict of interest. After the Farkas case, Campa needs to do everything to prevent any further damage to the reputation of European supervisory authorities”.

MEP Ernest Urtasun, vice-president of the Greens/EFA group, commented:

“How can Campa present Santander’s stress tests while he is a shareholder of that bank? José Manuel Campa’s link with Santander was already an issue in the hearings previous to his appointment. He has a restriction, issued by EBA itself, to have professional contact with staff or representatives of Banco Santander in the context of lobbying and advocacy for two years.He must tackle immediately his link with his former employer and one of the institutions he will monitor in the future.”

Link to the letter sent to José Manuel Campa:

Link to Campa’s declaration of interest:

Link to Campa’s Restrictions imposed by EBA: