Banco Espírito Santo
|Traded as||Euronext: BES|
|Key people||Ricardo Salgado (CEO), Alberto Oliveira Pinto (Chairman)|
|Products||Retail and investment banking, insurance, asset management, venture capital|
|Revenue||€2.320 billion (2010)1|
|Profit||€510.5 million (2010)1|
|Total assets||€83.66 billion (end 2010)1|
|Total equity||€7.476 billion (end 2010)1|
|Employees||9,860 (end 2010)1|
|Subsidiaries||Banco Espírito Santo Angola (76%)|
BES is the second largest private financial institution in Portugal in terms of net assets (€80,700 million in March 2011), with an average market share of 20.3% in Portugal and 2.1 million clients.
The Banco Espírito Santo’s origins began with the lottery, currency exchange, and securities business carried out by José Maria do Espírito Santo e Silva between 1869 and 1884. The first references to trading that the “patriarch of the only dynasty of Portuguese bankers” was undertaking, was in the purchase and sale of lotteries, along with national and international transactions in loan securities, on his own account. This took place in his Caza de Cambio, situated in centre of Lisbon and which dated back to the second half of the 19th century (1869). Since then and until 1920, he founded a number of banking institutions, such as Beirão, Silva Pinto & Cª., (1884–1887), Silva, Beirão, Pinto & Cª. (1897–1911), J. M. Espírito Santo Silva (1911–1915), and J. M. Espírito Santo Silva & Cª. (1915).
In 1915, after the death of José Maria do Espírito Santo e Silva, these firms were dissolved and his heirs founded the Casa Bancária Espírito Santo Silva & Cª, which was transformed into a public limited-liability company in 1920 under the name Banco Espírito Santo with the bank, in this decade, managing to consolidate its position within the context of national banking by opening agencies and using a renewed management model.
In 1937, the bank strengthened its position in commercial banking through a merger with Banco Comercial de Lisboa to form Banco Espírito Santo e Comercial de Lisboa (BESCL), which again changed its name to BES in 1999.
Up to the mid-1970s, BESCL reinforced its international presence with acquisitions, partnerships, and the creation of banks in countries such as the United States, Angola, and the United Kingdom, among others. Under a Decree Law of 1975, the bank was nationalised and the Espírito Santo family was prevented from doing business in Portugal. Within this context, the family re-established its financial interests abroad in countries such as Brazil, Switzerland, France, and the United States, culminating in 1975 with the creation of a holding company based in Luxembourg. This company was the predecessor of the Espírito Santo Financial Group (ESFG).2
The return to Portugal began in 1986 in partnership with Crédit Agricole and with the support of a core group of Portuguese shareholders. They formed the Banco Internacional de Crédito (BIC), also forming Espírito Santo Sociedade de Investimentos (ESSI), together with Swiss bank UBS and KBC Bank of Luxembourg.
In 1990, the Espírito Santo Group recovered Companhia de Seguros Tranquilidade — the Espirito Santo family held a stake since 1935 — and the control of Banco Espírito Santo in 1991 with the creation of a holding company between ESFG and Crédit Agricole, called BESPAR.
In 1992, BES began operating in the Spanish market where it created Banco Espírito Santo S.A. and in 1995, to open Banco Espírito Santo do Oriente (BESOR) that ofers corporate and investiment solutions to Private clients. Also, in 2001, Banco Espírito Santo Angola, a bank formed under Angolan law, was founded.
BES has had a stable shareholder structure since 1991. The main shareholders, ESFG and Crédit Agricole, hold 50.8% of the capital.
The Group’s presence today is felt in 23 countries on four continents through branches, offices of representation, or sub-companies, making the Banco Espírito Santo Group the most international of the Portuguese financial groups.
Since 2007, BES has been the only Portuguese bank to be included on the sustainability index FTSE4Good Index reinforcing its positioning as a socially responsible institution.
On 3 January 2011, BES was nominated "Best Trade Financial Bank" in Portugal for the fifth consecutive year by Global Finance magazine.3
- "Annual Report 2010". Banco Espírito Santo. Retrieved 12 September 2010.
- ESFG - Nossa historia retrieved July 13, 2011
- Global Finance: Best Corporate/Institutional Internet Banks retrieved August 12, 2011