CaixaBank, Repsol Face Criminal Probe in Spanish Spying Case

Spanish lender CaixaBank SA and oil producer Repsol SA will be investigated by the country’s National Court for their alleged role in a corporate spying case.

The court formally named the two companies as suspects on Thursday, claiming in an emailed statement they were involved in disclosing confidential information and bribery. Representatives for both firms have been summoned to appear on July 26.

The move is part of a broader probe into spying at Spanish companies that saw Iberdrola SA Chairman Ignacio Galan named as a suspect last month, while Repsol Chairman Antonio Brufau and former CaixaBank Chairman Isidro Faine were put under investigation earlier this year.

A spokesman for CaixaBank said the lender has pledged to offer the maximum collaboration with the courts as it has always done.

Repsol said in a regulatory filing the court made the decision without hearing from its chief compliance officer, despite the firm’s repeated requests. Repsol said it will prove that it didn’t breach any rules and take all action needed to defend its reputation and interests, adding that being investigated “has no consequence whatsoever on the company, its governance or activity.”

The court alleges that the companies hired a firm a decade ago to spy on former Sacyr SA Chairman Luis del Rivero and associates, after he reached an agreement with Mexican oil producer Petroleos Mexicanos to take over Repsol. CaixaBank was one of the oil company’s main shareholders at the time.

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