Brazilian public banks won’t leave federation over Bolsonaro

public banks caixa
Caixa CEO Pedro Guimarães. Photo: Marcello Casal Jr./ABr

Caixa and Banco do Brasil, the two biggest Brazilian public banks, are no longer expected to leave the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban), according to news website Poder360. Both institutions threatened to abandon the federation after Febraban signed an open letter pleading for “institutional harmony” between Brazil’s branches of government, for the sake of the country.

Though the manifesto was as non-committal as possible, it was construed as criticism of President Jair Bolsonaro. Caixa CEO Pedro Guimarães reportedly led the plea for the banks to abandon Febraban. The president has ramped up attacks against the Supreme Court and has called for public demonstrations on September 7, which are likely to be filled with anti-democratic undertones.

The threat was perceived as a censorship attempt, further heightening tensions between markets and the government, while the Brazilian economy loses steam.

In a statement, Febraban reaffirmed its call for institutional harmony and said it respects Banco do Brasil and Caixa’s decision not to cosign the manifesto.