Bank of Portugal picks new CEO for BES successor Novo Banco

Sun Sep 14, 2014 1:44pm EDT
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By Andrei Khalip

LISBON (Reuters) - The Bank of Portugal on Sunday picked a new chief executive for Novo Banco, successor to Banco Espirito Santo (BES), following the embarrassing resignation of its three top managers appointed only two months ago.

Eduardo Stock da Cunha, 51, an experienced international banker who has worked at lenders like Santander and Lloyds in Britain, Portugal, Spain and the United States, became the new head of the bank that the central bank aims to sell off swiftly to recover state loans.

BES, Portugal's largest listed lender, had to be rescued last month after the collapse of the business empire of its founding Espirito Santo family, whose main holding firms are under creditor protection.

Stock da Cunha's last job was as auditing and risk area director on the team of Lloyds Banking Group's Portuguese CEO Antonio Horta Osorio. The two had worked previously at Santander in Portugal.

Jorge Cardoso, board member at the state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depositos, was named finance director at Novo Banco, Bank of Portugal said in a statement.

The central bank also reiterated its intention to sell the bank to investors "within the shortest reasonable period" to guarantee a stable ownership structure and safeguard the interests of Novo Banco clients.

On Saturday, Chief Executive Vitor Bento, finance director Joao Moreira Rato and deputy CEO Jose Honorio - all handpicked by the Bank of Portugal in July - said they were leaving because their initial mandate to revive the bank with private money had changed too much since the government bailout.

Weekly newspaper Expresso said on Saturday the executives had objected to the central bank's plan to sell Novo Banco as soon as possible to recover the 3.9 billion euros ($5.1 billion) in public funds used in the rescue.   Continued...

A worker is seen inside an office of Portuguese bank Banco Espirito Santo (BES), which is partially controlled by the Espirito Santo family, in Lisbon July 16, 2014. REUTERS/Rafael Marchante