Friday, April 23, 2021

Former BES director defends that “you don’t have to impose brakes” (but report)

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Manuel de Almeida / Lusa

At the hearing in the Eventual Parliamentary Inquiry Commission on the losses recorded by Novo Banco and attributed to the Resolution Fund, the former risk director of Banco Espírito Santo (BES) Carlos Calvário said that this department “does not have to impose brakes” on credit, but rather report them to the administration.

“The director of the global risk department does not have to impose brakes”, but “to report them, to indicate them, but he does not have the right of veto”, replied Carlos Calvário to socialist deputy Miguel Matos.

Carlos Calvário said that it was his role, “effectively, to report them, to indicate them”, adding that “certainly” will have “probably expressed somewhere” your concerns.

“The global risk department could and should issue ratings and opinions on the operations that were put to him, and on those he gave his opinion without ever being pressured or limited in his functions ”, he said. However, “the decision to grant credit belonged to the financial and credit committee, the executive committee and the board of directors,” he said.

The former head of BES also added “there was a monthly risk committee in which all these questions were analyzed ”, in“ very open ”sessions with“ 30 or 40 people present ”.

Asked by the socialist deputy if he ever communicated to his superiors José Maria Ricciardi or Ricardo Salgado the “excess of risks or credit attribution ‘to Lagardère’”, Carlos Calvário referred to official records.

“If they were on the maps of major risks, if they were reported by Banco de Portugal, if they were analyzed by the risk committee, if all operations from a certain amount or with no rating they were approved by a financial credit board with the presence of management or ratified by an executive committee ”, with all members, monthly,“ I believe the answer will be given ”, said Carlos Calvário, affirming the communication of risks.

Previously, Liberal Initiative deputy João Cotrim Figueiredo had already questioned whether it was evident that there were “assets that were not accounted for” in the bank’s relationship with Espírito Santo International (ESI).

“The possibility eventually arose that, in addition to the debt, effectively unrecognized, that there could be other unrecognized assets”, he admitted, having been aware of this and discrepancy in the identification of debt has been communicated management, as well as Banco de Portugal (BdP) and the auditors PwC and KPMG.

The collapse of BES led to the creation of Novo Banco as a transition bank. Since its creation, Novo Banco has received more than six billion euros in taxpayer loans. The bank was sold to Lone Star in October 2017 and has an agreement that provides for annual capital injections by the Resolution Fund, using State loans, to cover possible losses on assets inherited from BES.

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