BES: Court of Appeal overturns Trial Court forcing NB to go to trial for the commercial paper

  • ECO News
  • 19 July 2017

Court of Appeal overturns the Trial Court's decision concerning a proceeding headed by Rute Sousa and Ricardo Ângelo, president of the Association of BES former clients.

The Lisbon Court of Appeal believes Novo Banco should go to trial for its responsibility on the losses suffered by former clients of Banco Espírito Santo (BES) who purchased the fallen bank’s commercial paper. This decision overturns what had been set by the Trial Court concerning a proceeding from the president of BES former clients who lost thousands of euros because of the bank’s commercial paper.

The decision was overturned by the Lisbon Court of Appeal, determining that the case would be “remitted to the Court of First Instance in order to be carried on accordingly”.

Ricardo Ângelo and Rute Sousa — who invested thousands of euros on the commercial papers from Espírito Santo Group companies and lost them when BES went bankrupt — moved forward with a proceeding against BES, Novo Banco (NB) and Stock da Cunha (former CEO of NB) aiming to gain their investment back.

However, they dropped the lawsuit against Stock da Cunha and the court declared the proceeding against BES went extinct because the bank filed for liquidation. As for Novo Banco, the Trial Court had decided that the defendant (NB) was to be acquitted, because the Bank of Portugal had transferred the responsibility of paying back the commercial papers to the ‘bad BES’ (the entity being liquidated which may not have money to pay back those creditors).

After this decision, Ricardo Ângelo and Rute Sousa lodged an appeal in Lisbon’s court, which, on July 13th, decided against Trial Court. Ricardo Ângelo considers this judicial decision is a victory for those who suffered losses with BES, and that “it validates a solution for the commercial paper”.