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New head for Portugal’s Novo Banco

Portuguese banker Eduardo Stock da Cunha is to take over the helm at Novo Banco, the “good bank” created after the bailout of stricken lender Banco Espirito Santo (BES), after its president stepped down on Saturday.

Stock da Cunha is “tasked with forming and leading an experienced team” to build up the bank so it can be sold, the Bank of Portugal said in statement Sunday.

He replaces economist Vitor Bento who was brought in to salvage crisis-hit BES in mid-July when the bank was in the firing line due to allegations of accounting fraud in its parent companies.

The management team of Novo Banco on Saturday announced their intention to give up their roles while “leaving time for a smooth transition to be prepared”.

They said they had decided to leave because “circumstances have changed”, rebuffing media reports they had come into conflict with the authorities.

Both Lisbon and the Portuguese banks that contributed to the 4.9 billion euro bailout have pressed for the bank to swiftly be sold on the market to help taxpayers already hit hard by austerity.