Swiss banking major Credit Suisse has confirmed that it created offshore investment vehicles for Portugal’s Banco Espirito Santo (BES), but did not sell or distribute them.
The bank said it "acted as arranger, and was involved in the issuance of notes" for three special purpose vehicles in 2001 and 2002 at the request of BES.
The three SPVs were: Top Renda, EuroAforro Investments and Poupanca Plus Investments.
However, the bank denied reports it had played any role in selling or advising in the sale of the securities.
"At no point did Credit Suisse distribute, sell or advise BES clients and their subsidiaries, whether retail or institutional clients, nor any third party, concerning these SPVs or stock issues by the SPVs," the bank’s statement read.
"Credit Suisse is not exposed to any market risk or credit related to these instruments. In fact, Credit Suisse does not know which of the products was distributed by BES or its branches and subsidiaries," the statement added.
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The bank issued clarification after a report published in the Wall Street Journal that claimed Credit Suisse helped assemble billions of dollars in securities that were issued by offshore investment vehicles of BES and then sold to the Portuguese bank’s retail customers.
BES, once Portugal’s biggest lender by market value, was broken up in a bailout by the Portuguese government. The Portuguese government said it will extend a loan of EUR3.9 billion to the bank resolution fund in charge of rescuing BES.