Offshores: BES is responsible for more than half of the transfers

  • ECO News
  • 5 March 2017

BES, the bank that went bankrupt in 2014, is responsible for more than half of the ten billion euros' offshore transfers. Almost all transfers went to Panama, the fiscal paradise GES used the most.

Banco Espírito Santo (BES) is responsible for more than half of the transfers worth ten billion euros to offshore accounts which were not monitored by the Portuguese Tax Authority. At issue are transfers made during three years — from 2012 to 2014 — which were not thoroughly examined by the Tax and Customs Authority, in spite of the fact banks properly identified those money transfers made from Portugal to accounts located in fiscal paradises, as demanded by European laws.

The Portuguese newspaper Jornal Económico discloses that more than half of those offshore transfers which are not accounted for in the 2011 to 2014 statistics came from BES. At stake are the amounts the clients from BES, which went bankrupt in the summer of 2014, transferred to fiscal paradises in the two years prior to the bankruptcy of the Portuguese bank, being that the majority of those clients were companies.

The transfers made by BES were declared after its resolution by Novo Banco in August, 2014. An amount which surpassed five billion euros and relates to three out of 20 declarations presented by financial institutions which were not analysed by the Tax and Customs Authority. A source from the administration stated that BES plays “an enormous” role in the case of transfers.