January 24, 2019 / 5:59 PM / 5 months ago

Spain's BBVA hires PwC to help investigate 2004 spying reports

MADRID, Jan 24 (Reuters) - BBVA has called in PwC to help in its investigation into alleged spying on government officials and businessmen by a security firm that worked for the Spanish bank in 2004.

“There is an internal investigation and, on top of that, we hired PwC to carry out the forensics. They are experts in this type of job,” a BBVA spokesman said on Thursday.

Earlier, Luis de Guindos, the Spanish vice-president of the European Central Bank (ECB), called on BBVA to conclude its inquiry into the allegations in a timely manner.

The ECB has expressed concerns over Spanish media reports that BBVA hired ex-police chief Jose Manuel Villarejo’s firm, Grupo Cenyt in 2004 as part of efforts to prevent a takeover bid lead by construction company Sacyr, sources say.

BBVA’s executive chairman Carlos Torres confirmed in a letter to staff this month that Cenyt performed various services for the bank, but said it had found no evidence of spying. (Reporting by Andrés González, additional reporting by the Frankfurt Bureau; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alexander Smith)

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