There was a certain mistrust in Portugal regarding Lone Star, that the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the losses recorded by Novo Banco and imputed to the Resolution Fund.
The deputy rapporteur of the committee of enquiry into Novo Banco, Fernando Anastácio (Socialist Party), on Tuesday, criticised the board led by António Ramalho, highlighting the mistrust of Portuguese society towards its shareholder, Lone Star.
“The fact that we have not managed to get the cooperation of the main leaders of Novo Banco here, to tell us who makes the decisions of Lone Star, I think is a key issue that marks this relationship,” Fernando Anastácio said on Tuesday at the presentation of the preliminary version of the report he prepared.
He said there was a certain mistrust in Portugal regarding Lone Star, that the Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry into the losses recorded by Novo Banco and imputed to the Resolution Fund was an opportunity to make clear who is defining the strategy, who is committed to Novo Banco, how decisions are made.
“There was no such capacity. That, in my view, creates a degree of distrust in public opinion regarding Novo Banco. This should have been undone, and there was no capacity, no will, I do not know, to undo it,” he said.
Fernando Anastácio also criticised Byron Haynes (director of Novo Banco) and António Ramalho (chief executive), specifically, and the manager of Nani Holdings (Lone Star’s representative in Portugal), Evgeny Kazarez.
As for Kazarez, “no one has been able to really understand what his role was here: whether he wrote letters, whether he created letters, whether he signed letters… it is not a transparent issue”, the rapporteur said.
“In many cases, the interest of the Lone Star shareholder is not always the same as the interest of the shareholder of the Resolution Fund,” he said, also pointing to situations that are likely to be interpreted as a clear conflict of interest.
“The fact that Byron Haynes is chairman of a bank, until July, a bank owned by an international fund called Cerberus, and two months later is chairman of Novo Banco, and then a subsidiary and a package of assets is sold to Cerberus is clearly a situation that puts us in the position of being in situations that are not clear,” he said.
Anastácio also said that “there is a whole attitude of the board of Novo Banco that is not healthy and deserves criticism”.
“The board of Novo Banco says that it is heavily scrutinised, but it should also draw conclusions from that scrutiny,” he added.