According to the SEC, the banker bought out-of-the-money call options before the August 17 announcement by Potash that it had received and rejected an unsolicited takeover proposal from BHP Billiton.
After the announcement Potash’s stock rose 27.7%, giving Fernandez Garcia a profit of about $576,000.
The complaint describes Fernandez Garcia as Madrid-based head of European equity derivatives at Banco Santander. The Spanish bank advised BHP Billiton in connection with its tender offer, states the complaint.
The bank said it was awaiting the results of both internal and the supervisors’ investigations and that provisionally, the employee concerned had been suspended.