Sebastián Albella (Castellón, 1958) serves two years at the head of the National Commission of the Market of Values (CNMV). The State's attorney, came from the firm Linklaters while “the house”, as he calls the supervisor, not is alien to it: it was part of the team that drafted the Law on the Securities Market and was the first secretary of the council.
Question. The securities and exchange commission has fined the Foreign minister, Josep Borrell, with 30,000 euros for use of privileged information. Do you think that in other countries of Europe a minister in this situation could continue in office?
Response. I have nothing to say. I have my personal opinion, but as president of the supervisor I'm not going to comment.
Q. do you Think that there is enough social reproach in this topic? Or is it something that serious people do not value in their fair measure?
A. The social reproach for the use of privileged information is low, but progress has been made. There is more awareness that this practice is to play with advantage, although it is advisable to continue doing pedagogy. It is a violation that we must not accept because many people invest their savings with the hope that the market is clean.
Q. A few months of his appointment broke out, the crisis of the Banco Popular. What would make a difference on the performance of your body during the weeks prior to the resolution of the entity?
“Without the bets bearish, Enron or Gowex would have survived more”
A. Is a special affair for me. In 2016 I had a professional relationship, very limited, with the Popular and that has forced me to abstain on the case. The responsibilities of the CNMV in a situation like this is confined to the follow-up of the quotation and to ensure that it makes available to investors all information that is in each moment. Valued suspend the quotation or restrict the bets in short. It was decided not to do it and I think you acted correctly. Any measure of this kind can have counter-productive effects, especially in a context of nervousness.
Q. Just opened a dossier to be Popular for potential anomalies in the accounts of 2016. Wouldn't have taken too much time to detect these violations?
A. The analysis carried out by the CNMV, take your time. In addition, in parallel there is an investigation of the National Audience, and that is why he left you in the suspense record. The serious offenses or very serious, do not prescribe up to five years. We are talking about complex matters that include information requirements that can be lengthened.
Q. When the action of the Popular collapsed are placed in the target investors bearish. What do you think of this operation?
A. it Is absolutely legitimate. These investors contribute to increasing the liquidity and alert early on weaknesses of certain companies. To lack of bassists, Enron or Gowex would have survived more time doing the bigger the problem. In addition, many of these operations are not purely a bet bearish as they serve to cover the risks. By definition, they are operations that seek profit to a shorter term bets on the long or purchase, so that you may deserve a most special care of the overseers. But I insist: I have a positive opinion of them. In addition, it is an operation that is regulated at the european level. One aspect to improve is the level of information that we receive supervisors on the movements of the shorts to be able to monitor the indicators correctly.
Q. Has highlighted the importance of liquidity for a stock market. In this sense, what impact can have the Tobin tax that covers the Government?
A. What's at the top of the table has little to do with the Tobin tax. It is a tax on the acquisition of shares in large Spanish companies is similar to that which has already been implemented in France and Italy. In your time as I stated that the preference of the CNMV was that this tax had been implemented in a coordinated way throughout Europe precisely because of the effects it can have to do so unilaterally in the trading volumes and the attractiveness of the Spanish market as a place of investment.
Q. How can you drop the volume of trading?
A. it Is difficult to quantify, but there are a number of considerations that lead you to think that the effect will not be positive. In any case, it is the Government who is responsible to legislate on the tax model that you create more convenient.
P. it has Also been shown to against that the future authority of financial claims is outside the umbrella of the securities and exchange commission. Why?
“gender diversity on the board is good for business”
A. unlike the Bank of Spain and the Directorate-General of Insurance, we are not a supervisor of solvency, but of conduct. It's in our DNA. We believe that the claims department of the CNMV is good and has worked well to date. With small adjustments had been adapted to the requirements of the european directive on this matter. That said, it also seems to us defensible that an authority claims only, instead of three sectoral, which deals with complaints about securities, investment services, banking and insurance. The key is how to organize this new authority; if it is outside Jetbahis of the CNMV is very important to the coordination that we have with it: for us it is key to know what are claiming the investors and the new agency should know what are our criteria of monitoring.
Q. One of his goals has been to take advantage of the Brexit to attract companies to Spain. There is still a margin, but the results are poor. Why?
A. The results are not bad. There are many entities medium-sized enterprises that are studying the option of Spanish. In addition, among the greats we've had some success of relocation as Credit Suisse, American Express and Admiral. There are core countries of the euro such as France and Germany, or niche markets such as Luxembourg or Ireland that have attracted more businesses, but saving these cases, we are ahead of the rest.
Q. have You felt alone on this mission?
A. The truth is that it does not. I have always felt very supported by the Ministry of Economy. Maybe I have missed a major push to create a public-private consortium powerful to further ensure low noise ultra hor as a country. However, you must take into account that the moments are sensitive for the entities with a presence in the City of London, when they were forming judgment about what direction to take, coincided with the most critical periods of the crisis in catalonia.
Q. we have been harmed?
A. Yes, and what we have noticed. To give an image of stability is essential, especially for a country like Spain, which is not one of the central States of Europe. During the six months most tense of the crisis in Catalan we found that there were fewer calls from investors.
“For Spain to give the image of stability is essential”
P. That the Government is not able to approve the budgets, together with the fragmentation of parliamentary and runrún of early elections nor does it help much to give that image of stability to attract investment, isn't it?
A. Spain will be able to give a certain image of instability, but it is a very stable country if we look at what has happened in the last 40 years. Among the international community, we have earned an image of seriousness and respect as the market. Investors have to look long-term and we have not noticed nervousness.
Q. has fulfilled a decade-the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers. What is now the investor is better protected?
A. For your post. These situations are unfortunate but they also serve to learn. The problems of the future will perhaps go by other slits, but what is certain is that in these years there has been a flood regulatory. Fields which were hardly regulated, such as derivatives or the rating agencies now are. In addition, supervisors have more tools to restrict the marketing of financial products.
Q. what Would be a supporter of including financial education in the school curriculum?
A. For your post. This topic has already been made. The Bank of Spain and the CNMV have a financial education plan in place since 2008. The level of presence of this subject in the curriculum is still in its early stages, and certainly we would like that its implementation was widespread.
“the rise in The minimum wage would help to raise the savings rate”
Q. The salaries of the executive directors of listed companies were up 43% in the past four years. Do you believe that the value generated justifies such an increase?
A. In this period there has been a substantial improvement in the business results. In addition, this figure is distorted by a couple of particular cases. I have my personal opinion, but as president of the CNMV, what worries me is to improve the transparency and report with detail and intelligibly on wages.
Q. what Is to be achieved the objective contained in the Code of Good Government that in 2020 30% of councillors are women?
A. We are still far away, the media is in the 20%, although the degree of dispersion in terms of the compliance is high. I'm also concerned about the level of female representation in senior leadership, a body that in the end provides people for the executive positions of the council. I am a fan of not include coercive measures, but at the same time this house is committed to the promotion of gender diversity on the boards because it's good for the Spanish economy and its companies.
Q. Have warned on several occasions that the saving rate in Spain is very low. To increase, do you think it is positive the increase in the minimum wage?
A. I'm Not going to get into the debate of whether an increase in minimum wage has economic effects, positive or negative. But the savings rate is related to that part of the population has some levels of income very low. To the extent that a rise in the minimum wage can contribute to a redistribution of income, it would be positive to improve the savings rate.
“The take-over bid of Abertis stood test of our independence”
From the corporate point of view, one of the most important operations that has had to monitor Sebastián Albella is the takeover bid for Abertis.
Question. Do you satisfied with the role played by the supervisor?
Response. Has been an example of our spirit of independence and fidelity to the mission of the CNMV, which is to apply the rules of correct, fair and balanced to generate confidence among the investors. In the capital of companies are the savings of many people that you can trust that your investment is maximized to have a better future. We behave with great discretion, but act firmly.
Q. there Were pressures?
A. we Had legal issues with two ministries of the previous Government which of course we try to civilised manner, each using the legal tools at their disposal. Let's say that was a predicament in which you put to test the independence of the agency. During all these years in Spain, we have achieved a culture of respect both to the CNMV and the Bank of Spain.
Q. Your predecessors in office have sued to provide the supervisor with more media. Would you share it?
A. are funded through fees and we have a surplus is structural, something that, by the way, is not reasonable if it occurs permanently. From the point of view of media materials, we're fine. However, in human resources we would like to regain some flexibility to attract and retain talent. The house is now in good shape, but we live a bit of income. If we continue like this, there is the risk of not being able to meet the expectations that are there for the supervision of the market.