Ana Gomes, one of Portugal’s toughest talkers when it comes to institutional corruption, has won a major battle for banking transparency.
As a result of a questions raised by her and other Euro MPs over the investments in Portugal of Isabel dos Santos, millionaire daughter of the president of Angola, the European Banking Authority has agreed that yes, more should have been done to look into the origin of those investments.
Gomes questions came following dos Santos purchase of 65% of Portuguese energy giant Efacec Power Solutions by dos Santos for 220 million US dollars in 2015.
As the Socialist MEP said at the time, she wanted proof that the transaction was in compliance with the rules to prevent money-laundering.
Speaking to German newspaper Deutsche Welle, Gomes said that the source of the funds – transfers from the Angolan State into offshore companies – was “obviously suspect”, and raised the possibility that the state was “indirectly and illegally” financing the private investments of President Eduardo dos Santos’ daughter.
Gomes’ questions led to dos Santos’ withdrawal from shareholding positions in BIC and BPI, and has now basically led to a publicised ‘rap on the knuckles’ to Bank of Portugal to smarten up its act.
European Banking Authority president Andrea Enria has not seen any requirement to open an investigation into the violation of EU law, reports negocios online, but she has said that the case has shown that “it would be appropriate to reflect on the strengthening of instruments of control in qualified participations in institutions of credit”.
Put much more simply, a year and two months after Gomes and MEPs on the European Parliament’s intergroup on Integrity, Transparency, Corruption and Organised Crime swung into action, they have their ‘reward’, and shareholders coming into the banking sector should now face much tougher scrutiny.
PHOTO: Ana Gomes, featured by Deutsche Welle