Bank misleads CMVM

MILLENNIUM BCP deliberately misled the Lisbon stock market regulatory body, Comissão de Mercardo de Valores Mobiliários, CMVM, when the authority detected suspicious share transactions.

During a Parliamentary hearing of the Finance and Economy Commission, Carlos Tavares, President of the CMVM, said that suspicious transactions had been detected through its alert and irregularities system and that certain questions were put to BCP directors.

Carlos Tavares told the commission that the vast majority of transactions were done over a long period of time and that the nature of some of the more complex ones meant that it was only at their closure that the abuses came to light.

Many of the off-shore companies overseas in tax havens such as the Cayman Islands were set up by members of BCP’s Higher Board of Directors and served to whitewash shady business deals carried out by the bank’s directors. But even some important shareholders were using these companies in order to buy BCP shares with funds which were of unclear origin.

The CMVM has already been investigating these business transactions “following complaints by various clients” a long time before the President of Banco Português de Investimento (BPI), Fernando Ulrich had made an official complaint.

In relation to this case, the president of the CMVM said that accusations and complaints had been made to BCP on January 17 over “a lack of information” which according to capital and market regulation rules was “extremely serious.”

Now the CMVM is to issue a special form whereby private clients or staff of any financial institution in Portugal will be able to inform the financial watchdog of the existence of suspected shady or fraudulent transactions. According to new regulations, it will now be legally obligatory for clients involved in transactions to be identified.

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