Banco de Portugal’s press release on the Annual Report – Activities and Financial Statements 2015
Banco de Portugal releases today the Annual Report – Activities and Financial Statements 2015.
I - ACTIVITIES
The responsibilities entrusted to Banco de Portugal under the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) required changes to its internal organisation and processes. These changes benefited from the comprehensive overhaul of its supervisory function implemented since 2010.
In 2015 Banco de Portugal consolidated the process of joining the SSM, which, as of November 2014, has been responsible for the prudential supervision of European credit institutions. The Bank is represented in the decision-making bodies of the SSM (the Governing Council of the European Central Bank and the Supervisory Board), becoming part of the joint teams responsible for the supervision of European institutions qualifying as significant, and carrying out direct supervision of less significant institutions, within a complex responsibility-sharing model.
Banco de Portugal joined the SSM following a comprehensive overhaul of its supervisory function, which started in 2010. In the SSM’s first year of operation, the Bank adjusted its activity, structures and methodologies to the new supervision model and contributed to the development of new prudential supervision methods. It also reinforced the supervision of internal governance and the institutions’ risks.
As macroprudential authority, the Bank assessed the risks to financial stability and activated preventive measures, worked on the identification of new risk indicators and further developed its analysis of the Portuguese financial sector’s exposure to the real estate market.
Work related to the application of resolution measures to BES and Banif was particularly challenging for the Bank’s staff. In both cases, financial stability was safeguarded.
The year was also characterised by work related to the application of a resolution measure to Banco Espírito Santo, S.A., including within the scope of the Parliamentary Committee of Enquiry into the management of BES and Grupo Espírito Santo, and the sale of Banif – Banco Internacional do Funchal, S.A., in a context of resolution, which mobilised a very significant share of the Bank’s resources. As with BES, the resolution measure applied to Banif made it possible to protect depositors, and safeguard financial stability and the financing of the economy.
Work related to BES and Banif proceeded amid an adjustment of the Bank’s resolution function to the new Single Resolution Mechanism, which started full operations on 1 January 2016.
To guarantee that customers have all relevant information on banking products and services, Banco de Portugal reinforced the information requirements applicable to credit institutions.
In 2015 new rules established by Banco de Portugal concerning information to be provided by credit institutions on consumer credit agreements entered into force. The Bank also reinforced the information and reporting requirements of credit institutions regarding minimum banking services and supplied the institutions with a number of best practices on the information to be provided on contactless cards. In what concerns inspections, priority was given to supervising the regimes for prevention and management of non-compliance and consumer credit. Overall, 1,034 recommendations and specific orders were issued, in order to correct the irregularities detected.
In parallel with the initiatives under the national Plan for Financial Education, the Bank organised more than 200 training sessions across the country, with the participation of approximately 8,500 persons.
The Bank participated in the implementation of the new Public Sector Purchase Programme, created by the European Central Bank (ECB), and provided Portuguese credit institutions with a new collateral management system.
In addition to other monetary policy measures, Banco de Portugal participated in the implementation of the Public Sector Purchase Programme adopted by the Governing Council of the ECB. To improve efficiency in monetary policy implementation, the Bank provided credit institutions in Portugal with a new collateral management system. In 2015 Banco de Portugal took on the management of the ECB’s foreign reserves allocated to Lietuvos Bankas.
Impartial and high-quality economic analysis is key to an influential intervention at Eurosystem level. In 2015 the Bank drafted and published research, taking a structural approach to understand the behaviour of markets and firms.
The Bank helped prepare the Portuguese securities market’s entry into T2S, one of the Eurosystem’s most ambitious projects.
In 2015 Banco de Portugal continued preparations for Portugal’s entry into TARGET2-Securities (T2S), the new European platform for securities settlement. The Portuguese securities market was successfully migrated to T2S in 2016, through Interbolsa and Banco de Portugal. T2S is one of the Eurosystem’s most ambitious projects, created to facilitate liquidity and collateral management in Europe and foster European capital market integration.
As a result of the combined efforts of Banco de Portugal, Statistics Portugal and the Ministry of Finance, Portugal committed to SDDS Plus, the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) stricter standard for statistical dissemination.
Banco de Portugal coordinated the work that made it possible for Portuguese statistics to adhere, in 2015, to SDDS Plus, the IMF’s stricter standard for statistical dissemination. Only eight countries managed to comply with the IMF’s new standard; Portugal was the only one that fully observed all information categories from the start.
The Bank produced 22.3 million banknotes as part of the pilot project to produce the €50 banknote.
Banco de Portugal put the €20 banknote of the Europa series into circulation in Portugal and participated in the pilot project to produce the new €50 banknote. Valora S.A., a printing works fully owned by Banco de Portugal, produced 132.03 million banknotes of the Europa series: 29.2 million €20 banknotes, 80.6 million €5 banknotes and 22.3 million banknotes as part of the pilot project to produce the €50 banknote.
The Bank reinforced its internal governance model and reformed its communication model to create a closer connection with the community.
The support functions of the Board of Directors were reinforced and concentrated in the new General Secretariat, while a Compliance Officer was set up to guarantee compliance with internal and external regulations. In the pursuance of more efficient organisation and resource management, which is one of the strategic goals for 2014-16, the Bank reviewed the purchasing function, perfected the budgetary model and developed measures to simplify and liberalise the remuneration and career systems.
To improve transparency and accountability, a Communication Directorate was created, which concentrates and manages all responsibilities related to the Bank’s communication and image, and plans were made to achieve the Bank’s strategic guideline of greater openness to society, which is part of its Strategic Plan.
II – Banco de Portugal Accounts
At the end of 2015, the total balance sheet of Banco de Portugal amounted to €116,899 million (€105,608 million in 2014). The increase from the total balance sheet recorded in 2014 was chiefly due to monetary policy assets, more specifically monetary policy securities.
Net profit for 2015 was €233 million, i.e. decreasing by €71 million from 2014. The amount of €480 million was deducted from net profit to increase the general risk provision (€245 million in 2014). The said increase in net profit was chiefly due to a rise in gains arising from financial operations. The net profit enabled the distribution of dividends to the State to the amount of €186 million (€243 million in 2014).
Lisbon, 16 May 2016