No-No- Novo Banco: administrative team walks out

No-No- Novo Banco: administrative team walks out

Less than two months after Vítor Bento took over the reins at Novo Banco – the ‘good bank’ rising from the ashes of scandal-ridden Banco Espírito Santo – the well-respected CEO has walked out, along with his team, citing irreconcilable differences.
Advertising company BBDO will be ruing the day it suggested the ephemeral butterfly as the focus of its logo.
But as news reports are explaining at length this evening, the writing was on the wall right from the very beginning.
Bento has always said he was looking at a medium- to long-term restructuring plan, while the Bank of Portugal is under pressure to sell Novo Banco as fast as it can.
Discussing the “worst scenario that could possibly have happened after everything that has come before it”, Expresso newspaper boss Ricardo Costa (whose paper broke the story early this morning) told SIC TV that the administrative team’s resignation was “totally unexpected”.
The big questions on the table have been when the bank can be sold, and how much value it could have lost when it sold, he told the news channel.
For the entire team to walk out at the end of a week when the Bank of Portugal’s supervisor had also been unceremoniously ‘dropped’ leaves the bank’s governor Carlos Costa “extremely isolated”, adds the Expresso spokesman.
The nitty-gritty of the problem, Ricardo Costa continued, is the fact that the Government does not want to face up to the fact that it has ‘rescued’ a bank and now needs to deal with the consequences.
Selling, as fast as it can before an election, is seen as the ‘easiest way out’, Costa told SIC, saying the political fallout will nonetheless be on the government’s heels, as everyone is well aware that the €4.9 billion bailout is set to backfire on the taxpayer.
Thus as the news channels buzz and the story is set to fill column inches in the Sunday papers, the pressure now is on central bank governor Carlos Costa to name a new administrative team, and fast.
He is expected to make an announcement either later tonight or tomorrow morning.
As the crisis develops, workers too have entered into the maelstrom, saying it is “very difficult to work in these conditions”.
Spokesman João Matos has been interviewed for his take on the situation, which again centres on political manoeuvres designed off-load Novo Banco before next year’s elections and as rapidly as possible.
Meantime, posters showing former BES boss Ricardo Espírito Santo Salgado as a Disney cartoon-reminiscent masked bank robber have appeared outside Lisbon branches of the bank that is just beginning to take down the old BES logos and put up the butterfly image of Novo Banco, whose slogan is “a good start”…