The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Sovereignty weighs on Portugal’s banking recovery

Portugal’s banks are doing better than at any point since the eurozone crisis. But local bankers’ optimism is tempered by concerns over ownership issues at BPI, Banif and Novo Banco


“Although Portugal is a relatively concentrated banking market compared with Spain, the fact that it is a much smaller marketplace suggests that consolidation could contribute to some further improvement in efficiencies”
- Erwin van Lümich, Fitch Ratings.

Depending on your perspective, these are either the worst or the best of times for Portugal’s banking industry. 

Those who fear that investor confidence in the sector has taken a battering in recent months say that it was not just the messy bail-in of Novo Banco that has damaged the industry’s credibility. Other controversies have included the turbocharged resolution of Banif, which according to some bankers has wasted billions of euros of taxpayer money, to the recent schism among BPI’s shareholders over the management of its African exposure. 

Lisbon-based analysts say these are very different incidents, none of which need be unduly damaging for the Portuguese banking industry when seen in isolation. Collectively, however, they have created uncertainties and exposed vulnerabilities that suggest the industry is ripe for an extensive and belated period of consolidation.

The paradox, says André Rodrigues, banking analyst at CaixaBI in Lisbon, is that it comes at a time when the fortunes of the leading Portuguese banks appear to be taking a long-overdue turn for the better. 

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree