Segundo a SEC (a CMVM norte americana), o BES praticou durante 2004 e 2009 a atividade de broker-dealer e aconselhamento de investimento em valores mobiliários junto do público norte americano sem para isso estar autorizado, carecendo dos registos mandatórios por lei. A disputa terá sido resolvida com um acordo através do qual o BES pagará 7 milhões de dólares à autoridade de valores mobiliários norte americana.
Eis o comunicado da SEC sobre o assunto: “SEC Charges Major Portuguese Bank for Violating Registration Provisions of U.S. Securities Laws“. Um excerto:
Washington, D.C., Oct. 24, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged multinational banking conglomerate Banco Espirito Santo S.A. (BES) with violations of the broker-dealer and investment adviser registration provisions and the securities transaction registration provisions of the federal securities laws.
The SEC’s enforcement action finds that Lisbon, Portugal-based BES offered brokerage services and investment advice between 2004 and 2009 to approximately 3,800 U.S.-resident customers and clients who were primarily Portuguese immigrants. However, during this time, BES was not registered with the SEC as a broker-dealer or investment adviser, and it offered and sold securities to its U.S. customers and clients without the intermediation of a registered broker-dealer. None of these securities transactions was registered and many of the securities offerings did not qualify for an exemption from registration.
BES agreed to settle the SEC’s charges and pay nearly $7 million in disgorgement, prejudgment interest and penalties. In determining to accept BES’s offer to settle, the SEC considered remedial acts promptly undertaken by BES and its cooperation with SEC staff.
“The registration provisions are core safeguards of the integrity of our securities markets and the financial institutions that act as gatekeepers of those markets,” said George S. Canellos, Director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office. “BES brazenly ignored those provisions over the course of many years by acting as an investment adviser and broker-dealer without registration and by offering and selling securities to members of the U.S. public without any of the disclosures required by the law.”