Three former BCP directors accused of illegal practices

FOLLOWING MONTHS of investigations into banking practises at Portugal’s largest high street bank, Millennium bcp, three of its former directors have been publicly accused of maladministration by the Bank of Portugal.

Bastos Gomes, Francisco Lacerda and Boguslaw Kott were all executive directors at the scandal-ridden bank which has been under investigation by the financial regulator supervisory authority CMVM and the BdP for months.

The BdP has notified six Millennium bcp former big shots, including three ex-CEOs, Jardim Gonçalves, Teixeira Pinto and Filipe Pinhal, and two former directors, that it has serious questions relating to the bank’s relationship with offshore entities, which were illegally used to buy and sell its own shares without the knowledge of the supervisory authorities.

Also under scrutiny are other former top management figures including Christopher Beck, Castro Henriques, António Rodrigues and Alípio Dias as well as serving directors Luís Gomes and Felipe Abecassis.

Following an extraordinary meeting of the BdP’s Advisory Board on Friday evening, the supervisory body stopped short of issuing outright accusations of fraud or money laundering activities.

Buying and selling one’s own shares without informing the relevant authorities and reducing the capital balance on the balance sheets are considered, however, a highly irregular practice because it gives the impression that independent outside investors are trading in a company’s – in this case the bank’s – shares.

All those involved in the accusations have one month to contest the findings before legal proceedings move forward.

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