Development bank’s top brass approved

 In Banks, News, Novo Banco

The entity given the responsibility for approving the directors of Portugal’s new development bank, Banco Português de Fomento, has approved the executive team.

CRESAP – the Commission for the Recruitment and Selection for Public Administration – has given the green light for the appointment of nearly all the top executives who will run the bank led by Beatriz Freitas. The team was officially appointed on Tuesday.
However, Vítor Fernandes, the man who was supposed to be the new development bank’s chairman, has not, for now, been included on the list of appointments. Fernandes has been implicated in the ‘Red Card’ fraud and tax evasion criminal investigation involving the former president of Benfica Football Club, Luís Filipe Vieira, and may have “passed privileged information” to the football mogul who had taken out huge loans at Banco Espírito Santo on which he defaulted and which subsequently ended up on the books of Novo Banco.
Up until now, the Banco de Fomento has been administered by SPGM, a public entity which resulted from the merger of IFD – Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimentos S.A. and PME (SME) Investimentos.
That was a purely transitional measure until the new board of directors and management team could be chosen and approved by the Bank of Portugal and CRESAP, the latter given 10 days to complete its evaluation.
All four executive director candidates passed their checks and started work on Tuesday. (20 July)
The four executives are: Beatriz Freitas, who was already acting as the CEO of the three institutions that were merged to create Banco de Fomento – SPGM, PME and IFD.
The Chef Financial Officer (CFO) will be Rui Dias, formerly of Caixa BI, Head of Risk, Susana Antunes, who had been financial controller at Banco Santander Totta, and  the Commercial Director is Tiago Simões de Almeida who had been Director of Operations at BPI.
Portugal’s Minister of the Economy, Pedro Siza Vieira, has opted to leave Vítor Fernandes on standby and not appoint him as the new chairman of the bank until “all the questions involving the case (Red Card) have been totally cleared up”.
This decision was taken after the investigating judge Carlos Alexandre had issued a court order prohibiting the former Novo Banco director (Vítor Fernandes) or the ex-Benfica president, Luís Filipe Vieira to contact one another under the terms of the latter’s bail conditions.
Vítor Fernandes is suspected of being one of the persons who may have unduly favoured the business schemes of Luís Filipe Vieira which left the bank millions in debt and could result in the Bank of Portugal revoking his proof of financial honesty and standing.