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Clarification on the ongoing Forensic Audit of Grupo Banco Espírito Santo

Following media reports in the last few days regarding the ongoing Forensic Audit of Grupo Banco Espírito Santo, Banco de Portugal would like to make the following clarification:

In July 2014, in its role as supervisor, Banco de Portugal decided to carry out a Forensic Audit on Grupo Banco Espírito Santo (Grupo BES), contracting the external audit services of Deloitte for the purpose. The Portuguese Securities Market Commission was invited and agreed to take part in this process in relation to its areas of responsibility.

The goal of this audit is to analyse various situations identified in the regulators' supervision of Grupo BES up to 31 July 2014 in more detail, in order to gather and, as far as possible within the audit context, document the existence of signs of possible illicit practices carried out by Grupo BES and/or members of its corporate bodies.

The auditors' work is now at a very advanced stage but is not yet complete.

Once submitted to the regulators, the final audit reports and supporting documentation will form part of the penalty proceedings already brought or to be brought, under which, with all defence guarantees for those concerned in place, any administrative liabilities will be established, namely individual liabilities.

Lastly, where those final reports contain signs of relevant facts from a criminal perspective, the regulators will duly notify the Public Prosecution Service, so that it may establish all liabilities also.

For this reason, the final audit reports will not be released publicly.

Lisbon, 12 November 2014