From Crests to Salgado. PS has 14 questions for NB Steps

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Walter Branco / Government of Portugal

After Carlos Moedas and Cavaco Silva, the PS already has questions that it wants to ask ex-Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho as part of the Novo Banco inquiry commission.

According to the weekly Expresso, the PS will put 14 questions in writing for former Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho to answer within the scope of the Novo Banco inquiry commission.

At stake is the operation, in June 2014, in which BES raised one billion euros from shareholders who, in August of that year, lost their investment.

According to the weekly, the PS wants to “attack” in two fronts: the possible weight that Passos may have had in the creation of injured parties and the intervention that the Government had in the creation and failed sale of Novo Banco.

“Do you recognize that you had enough information to act to stop BES’s capital increase?” it is one of the questions that the former prime minister will have to answer to socialist deputies.

Salgado held, while still at BES, a round of meetings with Cavaco Silva, Passos Coelho, Maria Luís Albuquerque and Durão Barroso. The objective was to address the situation and “ensure favorable conditions to materialize the capital increase of BES, imposed by Banco de Portugal”.

“It is a question for which we want more answers: after all that has been learned, and the level of information at the time, why didn’t they stop the capital increase?“Asked João Paulo Correia, deputy coordinator of the socialists on the commission, speaking to Expresso.

The questionnaire back to Asunción Cristas, who was Minister of Agriculture, Sea, Environment and Spatial Planning in the Passos Government, and the statement that she had not discussed the end of the bank: “Do you confirm that BES’s resolution was not discussed in the Council of Ministers?”

The former prime minister will also be questioned about the money allocated in 2014, considered insufficient by his first managers, and for the aborted attempt to sell. “Recognizes that the Government should have followed closely the sale process and participated in the decision? ”, question the socialists.

In the last question, the PS asks whether Passos recognizes that it was the failed sale of Novo Banco that “completely removed” the former prime minister’s guarantee that taxpayers’ money would not support the losses with BES’s resolution.

The PS requested, at the end of March, the written testimonies of former President Cavaco Silva, former prime ministers Durão Barroso and Passos Coelho and the face-to-face hearing of the former European commissioner and current candidate for the Lisbon Chamber Carlos Moedas on the committee of inquiry of the New Bank.

To Expresso, João Paulo Correia said that there are subjects that were not known in the first commission of inquiry to BES, in 2015 and rejects the accusation of political instrumentalization that has been targeted for having called Passos, Cavaco and Moedas.

Big debtors heard at the end of April

Luís Filipe Vieira, Nuno Vasconcellos or Bernardo Moniz da Maia these are some names that the Novo Banco inquiry commission should hear in the last week of this month, triggering a series of hearings to large debtors to the bank.

“In the last week of April, the big debtors of Novo Banco will begin to be heard,” Lusa Fernando Negrão, president of the Eventual Parliamentary Inquiry Commission, told the losses recorded by Novo Banco and attributed to the Resolution Fund.

Among the names to be heard are the president of Benfica, Luís Filipe Vieira, and Nuno Gaioso Ribeiro (Promovalor and C2 Capital Partners), Nuno Vasconcellos (Ongoing), João Gama Leão (Prebuild) and Bernardo Moniz da Maia.

“Some of these people have already been contacted and have shown total availability. With others, contact is difficult, but we count that it will be carried to good port”, Said Negrão.

Among the big debtors of Novo Banco are the Martifer, the builder José Guilherme, the entrepreneur Jose Berardo or even the Promovalor, led by Benfica president Luís Filipe Vieira.

The theme was most highlighted in the inquiry committee by the voice of the deputy blocker Mariana Mortágua on March 12, who at the hearing of the former vice governor of Banco de Portugal (BdP) Pedro Duarte Neves classified the difference in exhibitions of “mystery” as “mystery”. credit between two reports: a first by PwC and another by EY, six months apart, referring to 2014.

The BE deputy gave an example of companies like Martifer, which in the PwC report had an exposure of around 281 million and, six months later, EY identified 557 million, or José Guilherme, which went from 137 to 262 million. euros, with the cases of Berardo (from 282 to 308 million euros) or Promovalor (from 304 to 487 million euros) being pointed out.

According to data to which Lusa had access, among the remaining debtors there are still Ongoing, a Prebuild e Bernardo Moniz da Maia (holding Sogema).

On March 29, questioned about these differences, the former president of the Resolution Fund José Ramalho said that they are due to the assessed perimeter of the companies concerned, given that in one case “exposures were assessed more at the individual level and another more at the level of groups economic ”.

On April 8, Novo Banco’s former internal audit director revealed in Parliament that the Resolution Fund also asked for specific authorship about the exposure of Novo Banco to the builder José Guilherme via Invesfundo, similarly to what he had already done with Luís Filipe Vieira’s Promovalor.

“In both cases, an external audit ended up being carried out. In the case of Promovalor from the beginning, it was the preferred option ”, he said, and as for José Guilherme and Invesfundo the bank, in a decision that included the executive president António Ramalho, started“ an internal audit process ”.

Then, according to Luís Seabra, the Resolution Fund, “for the sake of efficiency and opportunity”, ended up wanting to be covered by Deloitte’s special audit.

On September 15, 2020, at a hearing at the budget and finance committee, the executive chairman of Novo Banco, António Ramalho, had already mentioned that there was a specific audit of the Resolution Fund for the restructuring of debt receivables from Luís Filipe Vieira’s company , current president of Benfica.

Maria Campos Maria Campos, ZAP // Lusa