BES Bank victims accuse PM of 'turning his back' on families

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 26-12-2019 14:00:00 · 0 Comments

18 victims from the demise of Portugal’s former Banco Espírito Santo (BES) protested outside the Novo Banco building in Porto, accusing the prime minister of turning his back on entire families that were robbed by bank criminals

Amidst loud horns and black flags, and under umbrellas due to bad weather in Portugal on Friday, António Silva, one of the representatives of the BES/Novo Bank victims group, accused the prime minister of not fulfilling his promise to unblock the savings of BES's clients.

"We have a prime minister who promised that if we went to the government, they would unblock our savings. We do not understand, why after one legislature, now going into the second, what he is promoting is the continuation of the confiscation of our savings".

Questioned by Lusa about the fact that in the state budget proposal, the government estimates a recapitalisation of Novo Bank (the ex-BES Bank) of €600 million in 2020, António Silva classified the measure as nonsense, it is financing a bank that could be at the service of the Portuguese and that could have been nationalised.

For the 6th Christmas in a row, the victims claim to be the symbol of the greatest injustice that the Portuguese state has done to its citizens in recent years.

"This is not only a fraud, but it is also a contempt of the state for the laws and its people," they said.

BES, as it was known, ended in August 2014, leaving thousands of people harmed due to investments made in the bank or Espírito Santo Group companies.

The Bank of Portugal, through a resolution measure, took over the institution founded by the Espirito Santo family and announced its separation, leaving the quality assets and liabilities in a 'good bank', called Novo Bank (New) Bank, and the toxic liabilities and assets in BES, the 'bad bank' without a banking license.

As part of the sale of 75% of the New Bank to the US Lone Star fund in 2017, the state made an agreement that foresees the recapitalisation of the bank by the Resolution Fund (an entity in the state sphere and financed by banks operating in Portugal, despite consolidating in the public accounts), to cover failures in the capital generated by the toxic assets with which the New Bank was left by BES (bad credit or real estate).

In total, according to this agreement, the Bank Resolution Fund can inject €3.89 billion into the New Bank by 2026. Concerning 2017 and 2018, the New Bank has already received €1.941 billion.


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