News Column

Banking Espirito Santo hastens boardroom changes

July 15, 2014


Portugal's top bank was under new management yesterday, installing a respected economist as chief executive under pressure from the central bank, after worries that the lender's links to the financially troubled Espirito Santo empire had unsettled markets.

An audit of the family-owned holding companies behind Banco Espirito Santo found financial irregularities that raised the prospect of potentially destabilising losses at the bank. The news last week sent Portugal's debt and stock markets into turmoil that spread to Europe as well as other firms in the Espirito Santo family's sphere.

Pressured by Portugal's central bank, BES announced yesterday that its board had put in place new executives - including economist Vitor Bento as chief executive - hastening changes that were not due to happen until the end of the month. Together they will replace Espirito Santo family members including its patriarch Ricardo Espirito Santo Salgado, who had already agreed to resign, and other board members loyal to the family. Reuters Lisbon

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Source: Guardian (UK)

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