The #BC Agenda: Brazil towards transparency and democratization of the financial system

The second day of the Brasil Investment Forum dedicated a panel to discuss the new directions of the financial system in Brazil, the country’s leading role in the Fintechs field, and the measures that should be taken to grant even more security to private investors.

How to allow the conditions for Brazil to modernize in an inclusive, competitive and transparent manner was the main focus of the discussions that took place in the panel “Democratization of the Financial System: the BC Agenda”, which brought together representatives from the public and private sectors during the second day of Brasil Investment Forum (October 11) in São Paulo.

Henrique Bredda, manager of the Alaska Fund, mediated the panel, urging participants to discuss the directions the country needs to take and what is being done so that the financial system favors the country’s growth and makes Brazil even more attractive to international investors. The panel had the participation of the president of the Central Bank of Brazil, Roberto Campos Neto, Sérgio Furio, president of Creditas, David Vélez, founding partner of Nubank, Willem Sutherland, CEO of ING Bank and Octávio de Lazari Junior, CEO of Bradesco.

Campos Neto highlighted that Brazil intends to modernize in the coming years, making the Brazilian system more inclusive, competitive, transparent and giving more financial education to the population. “In the coming years, microcredit should be stimulated, as well as cooperatives. We will encourage those modalities of access to credit, in addition to working to remove the historical and bureaucratic waste of making transactions in different currencies in Brazil,” he said. “Another subject that the Central Bank is looking at is instant payment. We want a system ready to execute this by the end of 2020. We are in a metamorphosis. But this time we want to transform ourselves with private money, not public money. And we are going to give the conditions so that the private sector can make this happen,” said the president of the Central Bank of Brazil.

The advance of fintechs in the Brazilian market was the main theme brought by the CEO of Creditas, Sérgio Furio. He highlighted the increase in credit consumption by the Brazilian middle class. “Currently it is much cheaper to consume credit in Brazil, because interest rates have fallen and, with the advancements in the financial system and fintechs, it has become easier,” he said. “There doesn’t have to be a dichotomy between banks and fintechs. The two companies have different ways of acting and the Brazilian Central Bank saw an opportunity to regulate fintechs and give a new lease of life to the Brazilian financial system, doing the right thing,” he said.

David Vélez, founding partner of Nubank, assessed the importance of Brazil having more players in the financial system. He mentioned the reason that made him decide to undertake:
the difficulty of opening a bank account when he arrived in Brazil. For him, the focus on the client is the success formula that led Nubank to conquer one million clients in just two years. The goal was to reach this level in five years. Nubank currently has more than 15 million clients. “I believe that more competition brings better prices and more advantages to the consumer. It took us three years to get the necessary financial license, but we got it and we have as propose to create a new relationship with the consumer. We are growing this way. The Brazilian market has many opportunities for those who are willing to debunk myths,” he said.

The importance of transparency and regulatory security was the focus of the speech of Willem Sutherland, CEO of ING Bank, the fifth largest bank in Europe. According to him, ING has been investing heavily in disruptive technologies aimed at offering online services and fintechs, maintaining the simplicity of its products and cost predictability for consumers and investors. “Minister Paulo Guedes (Economy) rightly mentioned yesterday here at BIF that there is a lot of capital available in the world. And listening to the panels in the last two days of the event, you can see that the country is on the right track. It is necessary to have confidence in the local stakeholders so that the investors feel safe to bring their capital here. Transparency and regulatory security are two key elements,” he said. “I believe the country has moved in the right direction, increasing transparency and attractiveness for international investors,” he said.

The new technologies and the advances that they bring to consumers, as well as its impact on the banks’ business model were the highlights brought by Bradesco’s CEO, Octávio de Lazari Junior. “Discussion of new technologies is not fashion, it is fact. And it is very healthy. We are all preparing for a new business model in Brazil and in the world, in which the profitability of banks will be lower, but new business opportunities will arise. This is very healthy for Brazil and for the Brazilian people and it is important that this market opening is being encouraged by the Central Bank”, said Lazari Junior.

The president of the Central Bank of Brasil, Roberto Campos Neto, closed the panel stressing that the changes are important because they are part of a government project in which the state will only provide the necessary conditions for the private sector to promote the changes that society needs, serving consumers with economic freedom. “The role of the government is not to say what has to be done, it is to promote the healthy regulation of the market so that companies can quickly meet the wishes of Brazilian consumers,” he said.

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