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MADRID: Spanish bank Santander was on Friday ordered to pay almost 68 million euros ($76 million) to Italy’s Andrea Orcel after it reneged on a 2018 offer to appoint him chief executive. A Madrid court ruled in favour of a compensation claim by Orcel, who earlier this year became head of UniCredit, Italy’s second-biggest bank, saying Santander had “unilaterally” and “unjustifiably” ended its recruitment process.

According to a copy of the ruling seen by AFP, the contract which was signed by both parties in 2018 was “valid” and its termination gave an “unavoidable” right to compensation, which the court set at 67.8 million euros. The figure, which includes 35 million euros in profit-sharing and 17 million euros in bonuses, is less than the amount initially claimed by Orcel, who had wanted 112 million euros for moral and financial damages.

Spain’s leading bank had announced the appointment of Orcel as chief executive in September 2018. But it withdrew the offer four months later following long talks over his salary, saying his remuneration deal was exorbitant and “far in excess” of that planned by the board when he was named.

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