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Banco Español de Crédito, S.A. (Spanish pronunciation: [ˈbaŋko espaˈɲol ðe kɾedito]), “Spanish Credit Bank”) better known as Banesto, was a Spanish multinational financial services company. Prior to the Spanish Government's historical intervention in 1993, the very first in the history of banking, Banesto was the third-largest financial group in Spain, operating around 1,770 branches, as well as the fifth-largest company of the IBEX 35.
In October 1987, Mario Conde and Juan Abelló became major shareholders of Banesto. Soon after, on 30 November, Conde was appointed as the Executive Chairman, serving from 16 December 1987 to 29 December 1993. With a patrimonial hole in Banesto tentatively estimated at €3.6 billion (equivalent to roughly US$7.2 billion today) on 28 December 1993, Luis Carlos Croissier, the President of the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores, the financial regulator of the national securities markets, decided to impose a trading halt on Banesto, and Luis Ángel Rojo, the Governor of the Bank of Spain, communicated the intervention of the banking entity, tasking Alfredo Sáenz Abad with chairing the board of directors of Banesto in a temporary basis. Conde, who stayed in preventive detention from December 1994 to January 1995, faced a trail of judicial problems. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison in March 2000 by the Audiencia Nacional (raised to 20 years in 2002 by the Supreme Court). He served 11 years before being paroled