Association of 3,500 ‘damaged’ Banif clients take bank regulators to court

The thousands of Banif bank clients who lost life-savings in the ‘resolution’ pushed through by Portugal’s bank regulators in December last year are taking both the Bank of Portugal and CMVM to court. Backed by the president of the regional government of the Azores, Vasco Cordeiro, they claim they have been “hoodwinked by liars” and basically swindled out of what amounts to €260 million.

The association of damaged clients has already said it will be suing television station TVI for the report universally blamed for causing the run on Banif, mid-December.

The report – suggesting the bank was about to be bailed out – saw thousands pulling out all their savings. In a week, the bank had suddenly lost close to a billion euros, Banif’s former president Jorge Tomé declared.

Days later, the government and Bank of Portugal announced the sale of the bank to Santander Totta (for the knockdown price of €150 million), with all other activities transferring to a ‘bad bank’. It is in this ‘bad bank’ that the clients’ €260 million was consigned.

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