Portugal’s Montepio bank goes to elections today
One of Portugal’s oldest banks and one of only two to remain in Portuguese hands, is to hold elections for its board today (Friday 7 December) in what will be the most controversial and hotly contested board elections in recent years.
Montepio Geral (AMMG), a mutual savings organisation, which was established in 1840 with headquarters in Lisbon, has 620,000 shareholders and assets worth 34Bn.
The contested leadership is between three bankers: António Tomás Correia who has led the bank for 10 years, Fernando Ribeiro Mendes and António Godinho who all have a different vision of where the bank should go in the medium to long-term future.
Only 390,000 shareholding members can actually vote in the elections being held today. There are two ways of voting: by post and ballot box. The various boards — board of directors, financial board and general assembly will be chosen according to the votes.
Ribeiro Mendes wants to slash board salaries, improve the model of governance and create a social observatory. Tomás Correia wants to transform and modernise the AMMG, create a strategy committee, and attract a million members. António Godinho wants AMMG accounts to be audited and a new salary scale for the entire group. He also wants a members’ watchdog and complaints body to be set up.
Complaints over inflated salaries and illicit transfers of funds could result in the current chairman Tomás Correia being fined between €50,000 and €5 million by the Bank of Portugal. The alleged infraction was detected by an inspection undertaken by Deloitte.