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DECO informs…“What is DECO’s stance over small shareholders affected by the BES crisis?”

DECO has an online complaint form available for small shareholders who have been affected by the BES crisis. Its goal is to collect data that will help find the best way to represent these consumers.
Those interested can present their cases using the form. If people cannot access the Internet, DECO has a financial help line: 808200147 or 218418789.
BES’ unexpected bankruptcy left hundreds of consumers without a sizeable amount of their savings through the years. In only a week-and-a-half, DECO received over 1,000 complaints. First depositors saw their accounts unwillingly transferred to Novo Banco, and then came the concerns of ‘small’ investors – whose shares remained in the old BES and may never be returned.
Affected consumers are mostly those who purchased shares when BES received its recent capital increase. They believed the authorities which at the time vowed that the bank’s situation wasn’t as desperate as it was. Others affected are investors who purchased ‘subordinated’ bonds, unaware of the risks involved. The way these products were sold, according to DECO, “was never very clear nor took into account the bank’s obligation” to assess the risk involved with the investors and let them know exactly what they were getting into.
DECO believes that the management and transparency failures of BES were disastrous and should not be solved at the expense of small investors – even though share and bond investments always carry certain risks.
It is inexplicable how, in only a few days – and according to BES’ own data – the institution was transformed from a €4.2 billion empire to a ‘financial abyss’ that is still incalculable.
DECO demands that authorities – including the bank’s administration, auditors, supervisory authorities, the Ministry of Finance and the Portuguese President – identify those responsible.
In this column, Portuguese consumer watchdog DECO informs readers of various interesting issues and laws affecting consumer decisions. 289 863 103 | deco.algarve@deco.pt