Bank of Portugal ‘asleep’ as BIC flouts the law in Alisuper loans scandal
Workers from the former Alicoop supermarket group, formerly based in Silves, are appealing against the seizure of their goods and property, filed by BIC bank and are to protest at the bank’s headquarters in Lisbon.
Ten years ago this month, 245 employees of the Alicoop Group, which comprised the Alisuper, Macral and Geneco brands, borrowed €1.7 million from BPN jointly with the Alicoop management to keep the company going.
The loan ended up with BIC when it bought BPN and now wants the money repaid by the workers, even though Silves court exempted the workers’ loans from the company’s insolvency proceedings in 2012.
The loans, with the agreement of BPN, were taken over by the Nogueira Group, which bought the Alicoop Group.
BIC bank and the new company formed by the Nogueira Group, signed an “agreement to fulfill the benefits approved in the insolvency plan, in order to comply with the judicial sentence,” which was all well and good until the new owner filed for insolvency on February 29, 2016 in Viseu.
BIC bank went to the Nogueira insolvency proceedings to lodge its claim but now is demanding that the original workers have their houses, cars, salaries and furniture removed and auctioned off, so the bank can recoup its money.
The union representing the workers accuses the Bank of Portugal, which is meant to stop banks abusing the law, of “sleeping peacefully, while banks carry on with all sorts of abuse, as is the case here.”