Spain's Bankia says it will pay back thousands of small shareholders the money they invested in the bank when it was floated in 2011, a year before it had to be bailed out.

The bank said Wednesday it expects a provision of 1.8 billion euros ($2 billion) set aside for possible compensation payments from pending lawsuits to cover the paybacks.

The bank's announcement came after Spain's Supreme Court upheld two compensation demands by shareholders in January.

The court said there had been 'serious inaccuracies' regarding the bank's finances when it went public in 2011.

Bankia, once one of Spain's top savings banks, reported a 309 million euro profit for 2011 but months later changed that to a 3 billion euro loss. It was bailed out for some 22 billion euros.