PORTUGAL’S LARGEST bank, Millennium bcp, was rocked by further uncertainty last week after allegations of nepotism and blatant favouritism were levelled at its founder and chairman, Jardim Gonçalves.
Now, only weeks after a bitter power struggle between former CEO President Paulo Teixeira Pinto and Chairman of the Board and founder Jardim Gonçalves, shareholders want to know why he extended 12 million euros of credit to Felipe Jardim Gonçalves and have threatened legal action.
The shareholders believe that the amount lent is not backed by any kind of realistic guarantee, given the accumulated debt generated from a string of failed and bankrupt businesses controlled by Felipe Gonçalves.
Some shareholders contacted by Portuguese newspaper Diário Económico were quoted on Monday as being “offended” by the statement given from Jardim Gonçalves to Expresso, which broke the story, in which he claimed to “know nothing about it.”
In the interview, the Chairman said, “Questions pertaining to clients have nothing to do with me, and I don’t deal with them and haven’t dealt with them.”
The shareholders, however, say they simply don’t believe that the new CEO Felipe Pinhal and Director Alípio Dias, who did know about the loan, wouldn’t have communicated the information to Jardim Gonçalves.
These are the questions which shareholders and their legal representatives are preparing to put to the bank’s management in the next few days.
They have also passed on their concerns to both the Bank of Portugal and the banking sector regulator watchdog CMVM.
“We are worried about this situation and believe that the competent organs of management at BCP, together with the BoP and CMVM will take the necessary measures to sort out this situation,” said principal shareholders Joe Berardo and João Pereira Coutinho.
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