International Financial Law Prof Blog

Editor: William Byrnes
Texas A&M University
School of Law

Friday, August 15, 2014

Behind Collapse of Portugal’s Espirito Santo Empire

UnknownThe Wall Street Journal reports on the Espirito Santo collapse.  "[T]he heart of the affair lies a small Swiss financial company now called Eurofin Holding SA, which was set up 15 years ago largely to handle financial transactions for the Espírito Santo family and its companies. For years Eurofin was partly owned by an Espírito Santo company. Eurofin played an important role in buttressing Espírito Santo’s finances, according to internal Eurofin emails, trading records and other documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, as well as former executives and other people familiar with the relationship. The records indicate that Eurofin moved money between Espírito Santo entities, often in ways that were difficult for outsiders to detect. Portugal’s central bank governor, Carlos Costa, now says the shuffling of funds among Espirto Santo companies amounted to fraud. Eurofin, a privately held company based in Lausanne, Switzerland, said in a written statement that it “is fully autonomous and independent” of Banco Espírito Santo and the wider Espírito Santo Group."

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