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Press release of Banco de Portugal on the news published by Expresso

In view of the news published today by the newspaper Expresso, Banco de Portugal denies that there have been any divisions within the Board of Directors as regards the decision-making process on Banif.

According to the minute of the meeting of the Board of Directors this Sunday, Mr António Varela, member of the Board of Directors of Banco de Portugal, expressed his full support for the decision later made by Banco de Portugal as well as any other decision that the Board might make in the performance of its duties and tasks.

As an investor in securities issued by the group – although not in Banif shares, as was wrongly reported by the newspaper – and a depositor with Banif, Mr António Varela was legally and ethically barred from contributing to a decision of which he was an interested party.

Had he been able to participate in the meeting, and as clearly expressed by his prior and unconditional statement, Mr António Varela would have voted in unison with the Governor, the Vice-Governors and the other members of the Board.

As regards Novo Banco’s sale process, it should be made clear that, by law, the supervisory and resolution functions must remain separate. With a view to preventing the obvious conflict that arises from participating in a bank’s sale process and being a member of the Supervisory Board of the Single Supervisory Mechanism as well as being responsible for managing and deciding on Prudential Supervision matters, in May 2015 Mr António Varela asked the Governor (who agreed) to exempt him from any involvement in the Novo Banco’s sale process, except that resulting from the carrying out of supervisory tasks with respect to the institution or the collegiate assessment and voting, at Board level, of deliberations on the sale process and related matters where this impediment should be considered void.

A final correction should also be made to Expresso’s article: Mr António Varela is a member of the Board of Directors and not Vice-Governor of Banco de Portugal.

Lisbon, 24 December 2015