Banco Santander SA said Wednesday that it has suspended the bank analyst who was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission with insider trading ahead of last week's bid by BHP Billiton Ltd. for Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc.
The SEC said Tuesday that Juan Jose Fernandez Garcia, head of European equity derivatives research, allegedly made nearly $576,000 in illegal profits ahead of BHP's $38.6 billion bid for Potash. Santander is advising BHP on its unsolicited offer for the Canadian firm.
Europe's second-largest bank by market value said that it will cooperate with the SEC's probe and that it is also awaiting the results of its own internal probe.
Fernandez Garcia has been suspended from his job pending the investigation's completion, Santander said.
The SEC also said that Luis Martin Caro Sanchez, a Madrid resident who does not work for Santander, allegedly made nearly $497,000 in illegal profits by employing the same trading pattern that Fernandez Garcia used. The agency obtained a court order to freeze the two suspects' assets.