José Manuel Espírito Santo, former director of BES, dies | BES

José Manuel Espírito Santo, former administrator of Banco Espírito Santo (BES), died this Saturday at the age of 77, PÚBLICO confirmed with a source close to the family.

The former administrator, who had suffered a stroke in 2019 that left him with permanent injuries, died of cancer.

José Manuel Espírito Santo Silva, one of the leaders of the group and head of one of the five branches of the family, was the only one to apologize to customers for the downfall of BES. At BES’s Parliamentary Commission of Inquiry in 2014, in Parliament, Ricardo Salgado’s cousin said he was “surprised” by what was being discovered about the management of the bank and the group.

“I deeply regret what happened and on behalf of myself and the family branch that I represent, I want to leave my first words to those people, who were the ones who suffered most from all of this and who deserve at least an institutional apology”, said the manager. “I would like my first words to be addressed to customers, investors and employees who have trusted the Espírito Santo brand. Although this does not remedy their losses and suffering, I would like to say that I deeply regret everything that happened”.

His lawyer, Rui Patrício, mourned the death of the client he considered “a true friend” and a “really good man”. “First the illness and now death interrupt the possibility of fully recovering his good name, which over these eight years has been achieved, namely in the processes before the regulators and the courts, but which was not yet concluded”, says Patrício, in statements to the PUBLIC. The lawyer emphasizes that this was one of the main concerns of José Manuel Espírito Santo, “in addition to the concern with what happened to customers, workers and all those affected by the events of 2014”.

José Manuel Espírito Santo was accused in the process relating to the collapse of BES of seven crimes of qualified fraud and one of infidelity. to place commercial paper with retail customers issued by the holding, despite knowing the “financial situation of Rioforte, irreversibly exposed to Espírito Santo Internacional”, which was in technical insolvency.

In addition to heading one of the five branches of the family on the GES board of directors, José Manuel was a director at ES Services in Luxembourg.

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