Governor of the Bank of Portugal Carlos Costa has excused himself from deliberations over the damning report on mismanagement at State Bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos during the years he was one of the bank’s directors.
As reports today explain, Costa was a director between April 2004 and September 2006.
According to Sábado and Jornal Económico, during these years “he will have participated in the approval of some of the ‘ruinous loans’ to large creditors” (details of which are enjoying renewed coverage in the tabloid press).
But Costa stresses his responsibilities were in fact “in the areas of marketing and international” banking.
As such he should be under no threat of any blame for CGD’s alleged mismanagement at all.
A note published on the Bank of Portugal’s site today – “as a consequence of news published by Sábado and Jornal Económico” – explains that “during the entire period in which he served as administrator at CGD, the governor had no responsibility in areas of credit, risk, customer follow-up or control and internal audit”.
But as the years in which the bank lost hundreds of millions tally with years in which he worked there, Costa has decided not to participate in any “decisions” that the Bank of Portugal may come to as a result of the conclusions of the Ernst & Young report (click here).
Costa remains however “totally available, as always” to respond to any questions that may come from parliament.
There have been a flurry of soundbites over this story today as it is no secret that certain political parties – and indeed quarters – have a less-than-comfortable relationship with Carlos Costa, on whose watch BPN, BPP and BES have all gone belly-up, costing the Portuguese State, and ultimately every single taxpayer, an absolute (and still infinite) fortune.