Santander (Madoff Ponzi Scheme) Banking criminals
I have just found the following minutes of evidence wherein Horta- Osorio of Santander (now Lloyds) is questioned on the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme. I think the reader will recognise the questioning is certainly that of a Treasury who smell one big rat – a Spanish Jesuit one!
I think, then, for anyone to consider the following previous blogposts a “stretch” in any way, would be closing one’s eyes to what is now set out before you.
Santander’s role in the Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme was immense and yet it is being suppressed.
Santander is a criminal enterprise!
Please cross reference with the following two blogposts:
Spanish Jesuit Criminal 2: Ana Patricia Botin
Spanish Jesuit Criminal 3: Horta-Osario
Q2053 Mr Breed: António, could we talk about what may be referred to as “the Madoff affair” and Santander’s investments? I think some of us are quite surprised, bearing in mind the history of your bank and the good acquisitions you have made and perhaps good investment decisions. What did you do in terms of due diligence on Madoff before you put quite substantial amounts of customers’ funds into it?
Mr Horta-Osório: We are as you know a bank which is very prudent in terms of risk management and controls. In order for you to be aggressive commercially, you should have certain areas such as risk management, auditing, control and compliance as very strong areas.
Q2054 Mr Breed: What happened with Madoff?
Mr Horta-Osório: It is in our opinion absolutely impossible to stop all frauds. This, as you know, is a fraud that was very wide, of very high dimensions, supervised by the SEC and the company and the person involved previously had a very high reputation.
Q2055 Mr Breed: As a very minimum, most people would have looked at the auditing arrangements. The auditing arrangements in terms of Madoff consisted of a 78 year old man living in Florida, one qualified accountant and a secretary. What sort of due diligence did you do on that?
Mr Horta-Osório: It is easier to say that with hindsight.
Q2056 Mr Breed: Absolutely, but why did you not do it?
Mr Horta-Osório: We have strong due diligence processes. We are absolutely convinced we followed them as we normally do and, as you know, we decided to compensate all of our private clients as a commercial decision.
Q2057 Chairman: I do not think we are going to get a sorry out of you today, are we? I looked at the congressional hearings and there was a man called Harry Marcopolis who reported this from 2000 to 2008 to the Securities Exchange Commission in the United States. If you look on YouTube, you will see his evidence. I looked at it. He said, “The Key Tip-Off. It took me five minutes to figure out he was a fraud. I basically read his strategy description and knew that that was not the source of his returns. Then I knew right away by looking at his performance chart.” He made an illustration to the Committee and he said, “His performance chart was a 45 degree angle without any variation. It only went in one direction: up. It never had any variation like the market does.” That was a key tip-off. If it took Harry Marcopolis five minutes, why did a credible bank like Banco Santander get duffed up on it? Why did you lose 2 billion euros on it? I put it to you that your due diligence was absolutely and utterly duff.
Mr Horta-Osório: Banco Santander did not lose two billion euros. Santander had a small amount invested in those funds.
Q2058 Chairman: How much did you lose?
Mr Horta-Osório: We lost 20 million euros.
Q2059 Chairman: That is still quite considerable for people.
Mr Horta-Osório: According to the total size of the bank and the total fraud which was $50 billion, that is a very small amount. Within our total asset management we had a significant amount of money and a small percentage of our customers who invested in these funds. We are absolutely convinced, as we have already said publicly, that we followed the due diligence procedure, as did many other banks around the world but despite that we have decided to compensate our private customers. On top of this, because we are in the UK, I would like to add that we have no UK clients at Abbey who invested in those funds.
Q2060 Chairman: It is not that I want to fall out with you but I do not believe you in terms of how the bank went about its structure because, again, Harry Marcopolis says, “What I saw and when I saw it. I was repeatedly ignored after an eight and a half year period between May 2000 and December 2008. Detailed, repeated warnings to the SEC.” That was when it could only have been a $3 billion fraud which ended up with a $50 billion fraud. When you get a one man accounting team who was a college friend of Madoff and he has two of his family in auditing, surely to goodness, with a big company, you should have exercised sufficient due diligence?
Mr Horta-Osório: I sympathise with your comments, but if it had taken five minutes for anyone probably it would have taken five minutes for the SEC as well, which supervised those funds.
Q2061 Chairman: The SEC did not take him on, because your man was the chief executive of NASDAQ and it was the old boys’ club. When you are investing other people’s money, you should have adequate due diligence. That is the point I am trying to make to you.
Mr Horta-Osório: Yes, and I agree with you. On top of that, we have offered to reimburse those customers.