Head of Spain’s central bank quitting early

Miguel Ángel Fernandez Ordóñez out in June

Miguel Ángel Fernandez Ordóñez will step down as head of the Bank of Spain as the nation’s economy sinks deeper into a crisis.

Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg News

Miguel Ángel Fernandez Ordóñez will step down as head of the Bank of Spain as the nation’s economy sinks deeper into a crisis.

MADRID — The governor of the Bank of Spain said Tuesday that he would quit his job early, just days after watching the country’s banking sector sink deeper into crisis because of a huge bailout request from Bankia, the country’s biggest mortgage lender.

Angel Navarette/Bloomberg

Miguel Ángel Fernandez Ordóñez

Miguel Ángel Fernandez Ordóñez, the governor, told Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy that he would leave a month ahead of schedule, on June 10, arguing that his early departure would give his successor a chance to take better charge of the situation and open ‘‘a new chapter where important decisions must be taken.’’ Still, Ordóñez, an appointee of the previous Socialist administration, had come under heavy criticism recently for the central bank’s failure to identify and warn earlier about the problems at Bankia and other troubled institutions.


The costly rescue is now threatening Spain’s entire banking system. The announcement also came as Bankia’s parent company disclosed a commitment to pay Aurelio Izquierdo, one of the group’s executives, a pension of nearly $17.5 million.

Spain seized control of Bankia on May 9 . Word of the hefty pension payout immediately fueled controversy at a time when many opposition politicians have been demanding a full investigation into how Bankia misstated its accounts before being given billions of euros in additional public money.

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With the government expected to be saddled with another three ailing banks, investors kept the country’s borrowing costs near record levels Tuesday, making it expensive for Madrid to raise the money needed to salvage its banks.

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