Banking sector “fails to invest in change”

PORTUGUESE PRESIDENT, Jorge Sampaio, has blasted the banking sector for failing to invest in new innovative businesses and venture capital projects.

In his speech ‘Innovation as a key to modernising the economy’, Sampaio said that if a private individual wants to borrow money for a new car or a house, the banks are only too willing to lend it. “But, I’ve never heard any mention about venture capital and the role that the banking sector should take with regard to companies that need capital to modernise and innovate,” he said.

“What I mean is, the banking sector should pay more attention to the new economy,” the President clarified. “Portugal needs to find new ambitions.”

He blasted the bosses of companies, banks and the education system for “doing little” to help the economic growth of the country. “Portugal is a very small country. We need a strategy from the banking sector to help medium size companies to compete on a global level,” he said. According to the President, there isn’t enough private initiative in Portugal and there is a lack of leadership from the companies that do exist to take the initiative. “The banking sector isn’t prepared to risk its capital in helping companies with good ideas take a risk themselves,” he concluded.