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Details on Banks' Wrongdoings to Be Withheld by Brazilian Central Bank for Five Years

11/21/2017 - 10h45

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RICARDO BALTHAZAR
FROM SÃO PAULO

The Brazilian Central Bank has decided that financial institutions that admit culpability and collaborate with investigations that the organization carries out will have a majority of the details pertaining to the case withheld for five years.

Such collaborations were regulated by a bill that was signed into law last week.

The bill authorizes the Central Bank to carry out such negotiations, giving the organization up to five days to disclose the terms of the agreement.

However, internal norms describing how the bill works indicate that only the agreement terms and a "brief exposition of the facts pertaining to the infraction" are to be disclosed.

Sergio Lima - 20.set.2013/Folhapress
The Brazilian Central Bank, in Brasília
The Central Bank, in Brasília

As for the documents pertaining to the case itself, they will be withheld for five years, as per the law. The Public Prosecutor's Office is the only other bureau that will have access to the files.

When it comes to leniency agreements offered by the Prosecutor General or agencies such as the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), once an agreement is signed, the only files that are kept classified are the ones that could obstruct investigations if disclosed.

Lawyers who witnessed the elaboration of the bill said that the Central Bank needed to be more secretive in order to protect banking confidentiality while also avoiding the risk of inducing panic within the financial sector, provoking bank runs after sensitive information of those investigated has been revealed, for example.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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