Montepio bank chairman faces leadership challenge

 In News

The board chairman of troubled Portuguese bank Montepio, Tomás Correia is facing a challenge to his leadership.

Company top brass candidates defeated in the last elections are drawing up a new list with the aim of removing Correia at the next elections in December.

According to the daily newspaper Público, contacts have been maintained in recent weeks between leading figures at the bank who opposed Correia at the last elections. The goal is to create a common and credible platform capable of beating Tomás Correia at the elections in December. This platform is expected to include “dissidents” sitting on the current board and management team.

At the last elections in 2015, Tomás Correia was elected chairman with 61% of the votes cast by the 57,800 members out of a total of 630,000 members.

Among those expected to carry out the boardroom coup are António Godinho (a former Montepio staff member) and António Bagão Félix (former CDS-PP party minister). Other “dissidents” include Eugénio Rosa (an economist linked to the Portuguese Communist Party) and Manuel Rogério (a staff representative).

At the heart of the challenge is an accounting fraud that enabled €800 million in assets to be netted from deferred taxes used to cover a €250 million black hole in the bank’s negative own capital.

Montepio (Associação Mutualista Montepio) was founded in 1840 as a mutual association.