LISBON, March 9 Portugal's government intends to
create a new financial supervisor which would carry out bank
rescues and take on the role of ensuring the overall stability
of the banking system, the finance minister said on Thursday.
The new entity would rank above the central bank, the CMVM
stock market regulator and the authority which supervises
insurance and pension funds.
The changes, which would take the responsibility of bank
rescues and oversight of overall financial stability away from
the Bank of Portugal, could potentially go against efforts to
assign more banking sector supervision in the eurozone to
Finance Minister Mario Centeno said the change was necessary
after recent high-profile bank failures "oblige us to return to
question the efficiency of the supervisory system."
Centeno told parliament the new supervisor would be
independent and replace two existing councils that oversee the
financial system. They include members from the central bank,
finance ministry and market regulators.
"This new entity would have ultimate responsibility for
financial stability and should function as the macroprudential
authority and national resolution authority," Centeno said.
The proposal comes after a series of high-profile bank
collapses in recent years, including Portugal's largest private
sector bank Banco Espirito Santo (BES) in 2014 and Madeira-based
Banif in 2015. The state injected 3.9 billion euros into the
rescue of BES and 2.2 billion euros into Banif.
The central bank has faced criticism at home for failing to
foresee those failures.
The minister said the bank failures "gave evidence of
various failures in financial regulation and supervision,
weakening the credibility of national authorities which were
responsible for the relevant functions."
The Bank of Portugal is currently the institution which
carries out bank rescues, and is now in the final stage of
selling Novo Banco, the 'good bank' which was created after the
collapse of Banco Espirito Santo in 2014.
(Reporting by Sergio Goncalves, writing by Axel Bugge; Editing
by Mark Trevelyan)