Espirito Santo profits fall on Basel III cost

Marion Dakers
PORTUGUESE investment bank Espirito Santo blamed the Eurozone debt crisis and the new Basel III rules for a 22 per cent drop in net income to €122.2m (£106.3m) for the year yesterday.

Espirito Santo, which bought London stockbroker Execution Noble last November, said pre-tax profit fell 3.2 per cent to €678.6m.

Fees and capital market income grew 13.6 and 7.8 per cent respectively, delivering more than €1bn to net income, but a 10 per cent rise in operating expenses dented gains.

The bank said an agreement with the Portuguese government to lower wages in 2011 would pare losses this year.

“Overall recurrent income remained healthy despite a difficult operating environment, it said.

The bank added: “Increased interest costs relating to [our] commitment to maintaining a strong capital position, as required under Basel III, contributed to a fall in overall results.”