Parliamentary inquiry in BES banking disaster presents “preliminary report”

The parliamentary inquiry into the BES banking scandal has come to the end of its 120-day brief with a damning preliminary report.

Presented today by PSD MP Pedro Saraiva, the document simply adds to the growing discontent over the way the governor of the Bank of Portugal Carlos Costa dealt with the financial disaster.

The BdP’s actions were “less than adequate” while Costa “failed” to pass key information to other regulators in time, said Saraiva.

Costa’s “lack of cooperation” in trying to find a solution for thousands of small investors caught up in the debacle (see story: also came under fire.

But the nitty-gritty of the report centred on the “involvement of Ricardo Salgado (pictured)” in manipulating accounts “since 2008”, writes Expresso.

Saraiva referred to the former BES boss’s involvement in a complex web of financial schemes, as well as in the catastrophic loan of almost €900 million by Portugal Telecom to now bankrupt Espírito Santo group subsidiary Rioforte.

Saraiva is due to be quizzed on the inquiry’s findings over the next few days and a final report will then be drawn up by April 29.

Meantime, Ricardo Salgado remains on €3 million bail and cited for fraud, abuse of confidence, money-laundering and falsification of capital.

Following the “forensic audit” carried out by Deloitte’s into the ruinous management of BES, media sources suggest that Salgado could be fined as much as €10 million for his involvement in the scandal, but may still evade any kind of jail term.

For now the former bank boss is forbidden to leave the country but otherwise ‘free’.

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