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Santander files response to Orcel lawsuit, says never offered contract

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By Reuters
Santander files response to Orcel lawsuit, says never offered contract
FILE PHOTO: A woman and child walk past a Banco Santander branch in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil April 29, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes   -   Copyright  Sergio Moraes(Reuters)
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MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Santander <SAN.MC> said it filed in court its response and opposition to a 100 million euro (£90 million ) lawsuit being brought by Italian banker Andrea Orcel after it withdrew an offer to make him its chief executive earlier this year.

In a statement, Santander said on Friday its original offer letter to Orcel was not a contract as required by Spanish law. Former UBS banker Orcel has filed a lawsuit in Madrid with the help of law firm De Carlos Remon, claiming breach of contract.

Santander had offered Orcel, one of Europe’s highest profile bankers, the role but then changed its mind in January, saying it could not meet his pay demands.

Santander also said that it had learned through Orcel’s lawsuit that in January he started to record private conversations, without other party’s knowledge or consent, which showed “dubious ethical and moral behaviour for someone who was potentially to become Santander’s CEO”.

(Reporting by Jesús Aguado; additional reporting by Andres Gonzalez; Writing by Andrei Khalip; Editing by Jose Elias Rodriguez)