Paradis fiscaux et judiciaires

US probes Florida unit of Banco Esperito Santo

mardi 16 septembre 2014

US probes Florida unit of Banco Esperito Santo

Dow Jones newswires

Financial Services

Several US regulatory agencies are investigating the Florida unit of Banco Espírito Santo SA, according to bank officials, the latest front in a sprawling multinational effort to untangle the finances behind the collapsed Portuguese business empire.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., along with Florida’s financial regulator and a Wall Street self-regulatory organization, are looking into the Miami-based bank’s business with an Espírito Santo bank in Panama, according to the bank officials. Virtually all of the Panama bank’s business was with various parts of the Espírito Santo group and family, according to Panama’s financial regulator, which seized the bank in July.

"A lot of things were unearthed that were inappropriate, and now I’m trying to fix that," said G. Frederick Reinhardt, chairman and chief executive of Espírito Santo’s Miami bank. Mr Reinhardt, who joined the bank in 2012, said it reported the Panama transactions to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or Finra, when the bank discovered them last year.

At the heart of the Espírito Santo saga is the group’s web of interconnected financing arrangements. Portuguese regulators, which bailed out and broke up Banco Espírito Santo last month, suspect that Espírito Santo for years used financing vehicles in places like Luxembourg and the British Virgin Islands to issue debt, which was then sold to the bank’s customers, according to people familiar with the investigation. Portugal’s central bank governor has described it as a fraud. Lire la suite.

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