The president of the Unicaja Foundation, Braulio Medel, announced this Thursday in a letter, to which Europa Press has had access, that he will resign from the Presidency of the entity in “a short period of time that allows, with the mind set solely on in the interest of the Banking Foundation, an orderly transition”.
Resignations, power struggle and doubts in the Government: Unicaja faces its board in the midst of an internal earthquake
The manager thus advances his departure from the Presidency of the Foundation, which was scheduled for autumn, when his term expired.
Medel has attributed his decision to several reasons: the report sent from the Protectorate of Banking Foundations, dependent on the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, which questioned his suitability for the position, and what he describes as “endless external pressures and persistent hostile media campaigns” and the “imperative attention” to other personal and family duties.
Medel is currently under investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office after a complaint by the CIC union —the same one that exercised popular accusation in the Bankia case— against him for the alleged payments to Ausbanc and the irregular collection of allowances for his presence on boards of directors when he was president of Unicaja. The complaint, which is still in the process of preliminary proceedings in the Prosecutor’s Office, charges Medel with crimes of misappropriation and unfair administration at the head of Unicaja, they report Diego Larrouy Y Nestor Cenizo.
In his letter, Medel stressed that the pressures received “have placed most employers in an uncomfortable personal situation, often difficult and deeply unjustified.” “A situation that has been the consequence of being independent and consistent with a project whose fundamentals, of which they are the custodians, coincide with those behind Unicaja’s trajectory and which have allowed it to become, in its double financial and social projection, a the only Andalusian bank, in the fifth Spanish bank and in the first Andalusian social foundation of a private nature”.
Despite not presiding over Unicaja, Medel’s long shadow continues to influence the bank. The Foundation is the bank’s largest shareholder, with 30% of its shares and five seats on the board of directors, including the chairman who replaced Medel, Manuel Azuaga. Despite the fact that Azuaga was his successor, there are not a few voices that have warned of the team that Medel has formed with the CEO, Manuel Menéndez, from Liberbank and another of the names with a long and controversial career in savings banks in Spain. Governance was already one of the delicate points during the merger and has been accentuated by Medel’s approaches to directors from Liberbank, to the detriment of some from Unicaja, such as Azuaga himself.
The financial entity issued a statement last week rejecting “political interference” and denying a possible change of headquarters and departure from Malaga in the face of doubts expressed about Medel’s management by some employers and other third parties such as the Government itself.