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Banif Debacle Rumbles On

The BANIF crisis rumbles on.  Since its liquidation in 2015 over 5,650 credit claims has been received by the bank’s receivers. However, as no deadline has been set  for credit claims to be submitted the number could be much higher.  Especially as some overseas creditors based in  Brazil, USA, South Africa and Venezuela  have not been notified, and until this happens no deadline can be set.

The banks largest creditors are the Banking Resolution Fund and the tax authorities. The former provided BANIF with a loan of €489 million, and of course the collapsed bank now owes this plus interest to what is one of the banks’ prime creditors.  In addition, there are hundreds of private individuals who have not been paid, landlords who are owed rent and of course thousands of customers who purchased bonds from BANIF or Rentipar (a ‘holding’ through which the daughters of Horácio Roque held a stake in Banif).  Many of these individual believe they were deceived into making these purchases even when the bank was failing.  It is believed that BANIF representatives targeted cattle farmers, believing them to be any easy target!

Once the credit claim deadline has been set it will be for the BANIF liquidation commission to decide which creditors are paid and those who are not. Unrecognised creditors (including private individuals) can later challenge the commissions decisions in court.  It is possible that many clients who invested in financial plans will not be recognised. However, they may be reimbursed if they are seen as ‘common creditors.’

Another problem is that although the Banco de Portugal chose financial consultants Baker Tily to undertake an audit of the bank at the end of 2017, it has still not been completed.

Finally, BANIF is awaiting payment of €55 million from the Portuguese state.  Unfortunately, this is insufficient to meet the debts that it has.




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