Banif ‘victims’ promise to flood bank regulator with “thousands of complaints over fraud”

No sooner had the Bank of Portugal started forging deals with “BES victims” than a whole new group of “damaged former banking customers” has emerged, this time from the wreckage of Banif.

ALBOA, the name for the Association representing ‘damaged’ Banif clients, is putting together a working group to help members “formalise complaints” over the Madeiran bank’s alleged “fraudulent sale of products” in the months leading up to its collapse.

Said Daniel Caires, one of ALBOA’s directors – after a meeting with the regional president of Madeira this week : “It is very important that people explain their cases of fraudulent sales to the CMVM (marks and securities commission)”.

So far, roughly 400 complaints have been filed. Caires has told Lusa that this number will need to increase by “thousands” for the case to “gain greater dimension”.

Thus the working group means to roll up its sleeves and get started in Madeira, the Azores and on mainland Portugal during February.

As Lusa explains, ALBOA represents 3,500 investors who lost a total of €263 million in the sale of Banif to Santander, as well as 4,000 bondholders in Banif holding company Rentipar, and another 40,000 shareholders, 25,000 of which hail from Madeira.

The association “alleges that thousands of former Banif clients acquired banking products with knowing anything about them or understanding the risks they represented”, Lusa adds.

The meeting in Madeira with president Albuquerque came as a result of a request by the island’s leader, and was designed, said ALBOA’s president Jacinto Silva, to keep him informed of how the situation is progressing, “namely with regard to contacts with the Government of the Republic”.

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