LISBON Aug 14 The former chief executive of
failed Banco Espirito Santo (BES) vowed in his first interview
since the Portuguese bank collapsed to fight for the honour of
Business daily Diario Economico said Ricardo Espirito Santo
Salgado did not feel responsible for the bank's failure.
"I will fight for honour and dignity, mine and my family's,"
Salgado was quoted as saying in a short interview published in
Diario Economico on Thursday.
The business daily said Salgado would not answer many
questions and will make no further comments until a detailed
audit of BES accounts is complete.
The bank Salgado's family founded more than a century ago
had to be rescued earlier this month after posting massive
losses, largely due to its exposure to a cascade of companies
headed by the Espirito Santo family.
Under the 4.9-billion-euro rescue plan, BES was split into a
"good bank," renamed Novo Banco, and a "bad bank", which will
house BES's exposure to the troubled Espirito Santo business
empire, as well as its Angolan subsidiary.
Salgado, who led the Espirito Santo family's business, was
forced by regulators to quit as chief executive of the bank. He
resigned in June but remained in his position until mid July.
In July, a judge named Salgado as a suspect in a
long-running money-laundering and tax evasion investigation
which is separate to his role at Banco Espirito Santo. He was
released on bail of 3 million euros after being detained and
questioned and his lawyer said then: "Justice will prevail."
Asked by Diario Economico how he feels now after being one
of the most powerful men in Portugal, Salgado quoted Pope
Francis: "Don't cry for your suffering, fight for your
"Don't cry for what you have lost, fight for what you have,"
The Espirito Santo family's three main Luxembourg-registered
holding companies, including the one that held the family's
stake in BES, have all filed for creditor protection.
(Reporting By Axel Bugge; editing by David Clarke)