Governor resists pressure to resign

Bank of Portugal Governor Vítor Constâncio was fighting for his position this week over the Banco Português de Negócio financial scandal which forced the government to nationalise the bank.

Critics of Vítor Constâncio, including many parliamentary deputies, say that as the country’s top banker he should have known about the scandals and abuses going on on his watch well before they broke last year.

At a parliamentary select investigative committee hearing on Monday, the beleaguered governor said he would refuse to bow to pressure to resign simply because some deputies thought he should carry the can for the scandal.

He added on Wednesday that there were “no reasons to doubt the management of the bank’s former President, Oliveira Costa, up until 2008”.  

However, MP Miguel Macedo accused the governor of having used bank secrecy to deliberately hide information on corruption and mal-practises to “protect his friends and cover his own back”.

Vítor Constâncio has repeatedly denied that there were failures in the Bank of Portugal’s supervision and regulation of a number of banks in Portugal smitten by administrative and corruption crises over the past two years, including Millennium bcp, BPP and BPN.

On Wednesday, at the time the Algarve Resident went to press, the Ministry of Finances turned down a multi-million euro clean up operation plan for BPP, which included a 300-350 million euro recapitalisation programme using 150-200 million euros from the state and 125 million from other banks and current shareholders.