Novobanco boss compromised?

 In Banks, Football business, News

The leader of the ruling PS party in parliament has suggested that the Resolution Fund which was set up to support the capitalisation of Novobanco created after the collapse of Banco Espírito Santo in 2014, should take the bank’s administration to court.

This is because of an alleged “special treatment” which may have been shown to one of Novobanco’s largest debtors, the ex-Benfica football club president, Luís Filipe Vieira, to the detriment of the bank.
The PS party chief whip, João Paulo Correia, more specifically suggested that the Resolution Fund (which is a shareholder in the bank) “should consider a legal suit against the (bank’s) administration (some of its directors including its CEO António Ramalho) following the release of telephone ‘tapped’ recordings from the Red Card Case between Luis Filipe Vieira, and the CEO of the bank.
The “taps” suggest, according to the PS chief whip, that António Ramalho set up a meeting with Vieira to help “prepare” being quizzed by a parliamentary inquiry into the millions owed by large debtors to Novobanco.
The ‘taps’ were a revelation that led the European Central Bank (ECB) to investigate the relationship between the former football boss and António Ramalho and a possible investigation into the professional conduct and reputation of the banker.
Operation Red Card prompted the resignation of Luís Filipe Vieira, the president of Benfica Football Club after police searches and a huge investigation launched in 2018 into breach of trust, falsification of documents, money laundering and aggravated fraud.
On July 7 last year, the football boss was arrested along with his son Tiago Vieira, businessman Bruno Macedo and José António dos Santos, an entrepreneur nicknamed the “Chicken King” who had a 13% shareholding in the club.
According to TV and newspaper reports at the time, a director at Novobanco (called Novo Banco at that time) may have stashed away €260,000 of illicit origin in envelopes and provided privileged information.
João Paulo Correia says that the public needs to know that there exists a “possible crime of qualified disobedience before the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry over (some of) the losses registered by Novobanco for which the Resolution Fund had to foot the bill.
According to the bank, its competent bodies are investigating the actions of António Ramalho regarding Luís Filipe Vieira . The Resolution Fund, which controls 23% of the bank, says it is awaiting “developments” from the ECB.
It was Luís Filipe Vieira’s property development company Promovalor which owed over €400 million to the bank.
A tax inspector, Paulo Silva, who has been accompanying the investigation, believes the proposed meeting between Vieira and António Ramalho was to “prepare” (and possibly dovetail) their statements at the inquiry and shows “a desire by both parties to square their positions in response to “people who made statements that were indicative that Novobanco was financially damaged, which in terms of the capital contingency mechanism meant these losses may have been “transferred to the Resolution Fund”.
In other words, some leading figures at the bank may have come to an agreement at some time in the past with the football boss over the massive debts, knowing it would harm the bank and the Resolution Fund.