Paradis Fiscaux et Judiciaires

Former Banco Espírito Santo Employee Says She Always Took Orders from Superiors

jeudi 29 janvier 2015 par

Former Banco Espírito Santo Employee Says She Always Took Orders from Superiors

Isabel Almeida, Responsible for Managing Collapsed Bank’s Liquidity, Speaking at Parliamentary Hearing

By Patricia Kowsmann
Updated Jan. 13, 2015 6:29 p.m.

LISBON—A former Banco Espírito Santo SA employee, named as a suspect in an investigation launched by the Portuguese general prosecutor’s office, said Tuesday she always took orders from her direct supervisor, the bank’s financial chief, who in turn kept the chief executive informed of everything that happened in the financial department.

Isabel Almeida, who was responsible for managing the bank’s liquidity, has been linked to dealings between the lender and offshore vehicles that ultimately led to Banco Espírito Santo’s collapse in August.

In a parliamentary hearing into the collapse Tuesday, Ms. Almeida said her department never made any decisions without the approval or orders from Chief Financial Officer Amílcar Morais Pires. At times, she also took direct orders from the bank’s head, Ricardo Salgado, but with the knowledge of Mr. Morais Pires, she said. A spokesman for Ricardo Salgado declined to comment on Ms. Almeida’s testimony. Mr. Morais Pires couldn’t be reached for comment.

[...] The country’s central bank has accused Banco Espírito Santo of engaging in fraudulent activities meant to fund the group. Bank of Portugal Gov. Carlos Costa has told lawmakers that regulators had uncovered “evidence that suggests acts of deceit and ruinous management regarding the issuance and placement of Banco Espírito Santo debt in special-purpose vehicles based abroad through various movements made via a Swiss intermediary.”

The intermediary is Eurofin Holding SA, a small Swiss firm that is in the process of largely shutting down. Ms. Almeida said she couldn’t comment on Eurofin because the issue is under investigation.

A Eurofin spokesman has said the company’s legal representatives “shall cooperate with the competent authorities” in any investigation. The firm has denied selling financial products to the bank’s customers and has said it was wholly independent from Espírito Santo. Lire la suite.

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