May 29, 2014 / 9:02 PM / 4 years ago

Portugal's ESFG says holding company has "irregularities"

LISBON, May 29 (Reuters) - The biggest shareholder in Portugal’s largest listed bank said on Thursday there were “material irregularities” at a holding company that has a large stake in it and pledged sweeping corporate governance changes to remedy the situation.

The statement came after growing concerns over the financial situation of a holding company of Portugal’s Espirito Santo family, which ultimately controls Banco Espirito Santo (BES).

Espirito Santo Financial Group said an audit of holding company Espirito Santo International found that financial irregularities affected the “completeness and trusworthiness” of its accounting records.

The concerns started when BES released last week a prospectus for a capital hike which listed “reputational risks” connected to the selling to its clients of commercial paper issued by Espirito Santo International.

Reporting By Axel Bugge

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