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UK regulator to fine Banco Espírito Santo’s investment banking unit in London

Portuguese lender Banco Espírito Santo’s (BES) investment banking unit in London will be fined by the UK’s financial regulator for violating listing rules.

Banco Espírito Santo

The penalty to be fined by the Financial Conduct Authority could cost the banking unit of the collased lender several hundred thousand pounds, the Wall Street Journal reported.

With offices based in Lisbon, São Paulo and London, the investment bank provides equities-trading services in European and Latin American stocks to clients.

China-based Haitong Securities is said to have expressed consent to acquire the unit for €379m ($465m) from Portugal’s Novo Banco in December.

According to a regulatory notice published by the FCA in its website, the watchdog suspended the investment bank’s sponsor status on 9 December 2014.

The Portuguese bank based in Lisbon BES was split into two banks, Novo Banco to keep its healthy operations and a ‘bad bank’ to keep its toxic assets, on 4 August 2014.

BES is claimed to be the second largest private financial institution in Portugal in terms of net assets (€80,700m in March 2011), with an average market share of 20.3% in Portugal and 2.1 million clients.

Image: Banco Espírito Santo branch in Rua Augusta, Lisbon. Photo: courtesy of Romazur