The Portuguese bank did not perform all the procedures for analysis of counterparties or conflicts of interest in the sale of the operation in Spain.
Portugal’s Novobanco did not perform all the procedures for analysis of counterparties or conflicts of interest in the sale of the operation in Spain, according to the report of the third special audit conducted by Deloitte.
“Regarding the disinvestment process of the operation of the Spanish branch, not all the procedures for analysis of counterparties or conflicts of interest were carried out, as defined in applicable regulations, namely in the hiring of advisors,” said the document, to which Lusa had access.
In the part dedicated to the analysis of counterparties and conflicts of interest, the report stressed that until June 2020, the existing internal policies or regulations of Novo Banco did not define the requirement to systematically carry out an analysis of the purchasing entities that participated in disinvestment processes of subsidiaries, either in terms of counterparty analysis related to money laundering, or in terms of conflicts of interest and related parties, “despite the existence of policies, regulations and procedures that guided the general principles of these matters”.
A rules on the procedures to be executed were published in June 2020, and concerning the sale of the operation in Spain, they were not fully applied.
“Nevertheless, the EBD [Executive Board of Directors] of Novo Banco conducted an analysis before hiring advisors and proceeded with the respective approval,” the report said, adding that “the counterparty analyses conducted by the Compliance Department, in terms of money laundering and conflicts of interest, on the entities acquiring the portfolios did not identify persons or entities related to Novo Banco or Lone Star”.
On November 30, 2021, Novo Banco announced it had completed the sale of the Spanish branch operation to Abanca Corporación Bancaria, S.A, which includes retail, private banking and SME operations.