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Bank of Portugal “prepared for collapse of Novo Banco”

Despite all the assurances from the Bank of Portugal that Novo Banco – the so-called “good bank” that has risen from the ashes of BES – is “stronger and more secure”, it has now emerged that it could well be wound-up completely if new boss Vítor Bento does not manage to sell it off, as he has revealed is the overall plan.
The news came this week – leaked by a lawyer representing various small shareholders.
Miguel Reis, currently living in Brazil, made it his business to minutely study Novo Banco’s statutes, and there, hidden among the small print, he found the clauses that show the Bank of Portugal can dissolve the good bank “if it concludes that it won’t be able to sell all the assets of the institution”.
This is exactly what critics of the €4.9 billion bailout have been maintaining. If Novo Banco cannot be sold to repay the loan, the taxpayer will be left holding the tab.
Publishing the minutes of the meeting in which the Bank of Portugal approved the €4.9 billion bailout of BES, Reis said he felt it was his “public duty” to inform people of the political manoeuvring that lay behind the labyrinthine scandal.
Reported throughout the Portuguese press, the leaked minutes also revealed another “worrying detail”, writes tabloid Correio da Manhã: “To stem BES’ liquidity problems before the bailout, the Bank of Portugal lent an emergency package of €3.5 billion”.
In other words, the “bailout” has effectively cost €8.4 billion … and Novo Banco is nowhere near out of the woods yet.
Novo Banco’s rating evaluated as “rubbish”
Meanwhile, carrying a photograph of Novo Banco’s president Vítor Bento looking suitably stony-faced, Jornal de Negócios online carried the news this week that Moody’s has pegged the bank’s rating on a level considered “rubbish” – and that the analysis could be downgraded further.
Explaining the various “rubbish” levels, JN’s article said they signify “speculative investment”.
Novo Banco’s “B3” sees it on the 6th level of the baseline that is considered “rubbish”, adds the website.
Photo: Banco Novo boss Vitor Bento may only secure the future of BES’ “good bank” if he sells it off