Brazilian Banks Grow 130% Charging Customers 74 Different Fees

Brazil's currency, the real A just-released Brazilian Central Bank report shows that over the last ten years Brazilian banks have collected 2.6 billion Brazilian reais (US$ 1.4 billion) in fees they charge their customers, generating growth of 130% in profits. These financial institutions charge 74 different kinds of fees, according to the Central Bank.

A workgroup to be established in coming weeks will have to define the new rules for bank inspection. An agreement made early this month by the minister of Justice, Tarso Genro, and the Central Bank governor, Henrique Meirelles, states that in 60 days from the signing of the agreement, on the 11th the group would be established to discuss the matter.

The financial system currently doesn't have norms defining the tariffs banks should charge. The Central Bank only prohibits charges on some services considered essential and leaves the market up to the establishment of fees, according to the profile of each institution.

Central Bank Resolution 2747/2000 prohibits institutions from charging for issuing magnetic bank cards or a check book with at least 10 pages per month, replacing magnetic cards when they expire, supplying documents that grant guarantees of any sort or for checks bounced by the check and Other Document Clearance System, unless the check was bounced due to lack of funds.

The list of services that cannot be billed also includes maintenance of a savings account, maintenance of accounts at the request of the legal system due to consigned deposits, supply of a monthly balance with all the information regarding the account, renewal of check cancellation and research on the catalogue of people who bounce checks.

There are also other resolutions canceling bank charges, for example, for the opening and maintenance of simplified or salary accounts.

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