Brazilian banks expand governance as regulators tighten up

Brazil’s banks are generally family-owned, so they’ve escaped the pressure to meet shareholder demands for short-term gain. But if governance is to improve in the country, this entrenched family culture will need to be opened up to greater scrutiny

Stallholders in the Municipal Market, São Paulo

In November, Brazil’s central bank detected what appeared to be large-scale fraud at Banco Panamericano and was compelled to inject R$2.5 billion ($1.45 billion) to rescue the mid-sized bank, Brazil’s 22nd in size at the time.

Panamericano, which focused on consumer finance and car loans to lower-income clients, had allegedly been on-selling loan portfolios to larger banks while retaining the portfolios on its books.

The case, however, was an exception in what is seen as a solid and safe market

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