State bank bosses paid themselves massive bonuses “without looking at (parlous) state of accounts”

The extent of profligacy which brought State bank CGD to its proverbial knees has been outlined in a damning report compiled by accounting multinational Ernst & Young, and rolled out in the popular press complete with a rogue’s gallery of ‘guilty faces’.

Tabloid Correio da Manhã has ‘named and shamed’ the seven faces purportedly responsible for 15 years in which massive loans were rubber-stamped despite risk assessments being “unfavourable”.

“A large part of these financings led to the payment of bonuses lavishly distributed to CGD directors, in some cases causing the bank losses”, explains the paper.

“The period 200-2008 particularly” showed “no evidence of the guiding principles of variable remuneration being applied”, while the years 2005-2015 outline a decade in which loans were handed out almost willy nilly.

For example, percentages of credits that did not comply with ‘the way things should be’ exceeded 67%, and in some cases reached even 89%.

As a result, ‘clients’ owing the most include companies in the Algarve such as Birchview, €88.8 million, Artlant (the Sines petrochemical plant), €350.8 million, Fundação Berardo – the art collection amassed by ‘bankrupt’ Madeiran businessman Joe Berardo – €267.6 million, Finpro – a concern that involved the now-deceased ‘richest man in Portugal’ Américo Amorim, €114.1 million, Investifino – involving businessman Manuel Fino, and Metalgest, a company that used to be headed up by Joe Berardo, who sold his position “allegedly” to wannabe Algarve oil baron José Sousa Cintra.

Say other reports highlighting all the ruinous business, “in 46 financings rated medium to high risk, CGD conceded 2.96 billion euros of credit, of which 1.2 billion had been written off as lost in the bank’s accounts of 2015.

Ernst & Young’s report, however, is described simply as “a preliminary one”, over which none of those in any position of authority have yet agreed to comment on.

It was compiled over a year ago, says Expresso, and revealed on live TV by political commentator Joana Amaral Dias.

So far there is absolutely no suggestion that the former directors outed in CM’s gallery of faces – António de Sousa, Mira Amaral Vítor Martins, Carlos Santos Ferreira, Faria de Oliveira, José Matos and Álvaro Nascimento – will receive anything more than slapped wrists.