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Press Release
New York State Banking Department Licenses Branch of Banco Espiritu Santo De Investimento (BESI)

January 29, 2009

New York, NY: The New York State Banking Department today awarded a license to Banco Espiritu Santo de Investimento (BESI) to establish a branch in New York City.

BESI was established in 1983 as an investment company and became part of the Espirito Santo Financial Group in 1986. Since 2000, it has been owned by the Banco de Espirito Santo, S.A., which has had a branch in New York for 20 years.

Banco de Espirito Santo, based in Lisbon, provides banking services to retail and corporate customers throughout Portugal.  As of June 30, 2008, the bank had $115 billion in total consolidated assets. The New York BESI branch will facilitate transactions for clients in the United States, Canada and Latin America. BESI also has established branches in Madrid and London.

The New York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters and budget planners.  The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are $2.2 trillion.

In addition to regulating banking institutions, the Banking Department is active in informing and educating all New Yorkers on banking matters.  To contact the Banking Department, please call 1-877-BANK-NYS or visit our Web site at www.banking.state.ny.us.

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