Brazil’s central bank defers payments to banks due to striking workers

BRASILIA, March 31 (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank decided on Wednesday to defer payments to financial institutions for resources held in accounts at the Pix instant payment system, underscoring growing risks from striking workers despite the impact relatively low for banks.

The payment, which was to add interest to the bank’s Selic benchmark rate for the time the funds were held, was due to be made for the first time on Friday.

According to the central bank’s analyst association ANBCB, financial institutions will no longer receive around 2 million reais ($422,030) per day.

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“Central bank workers are carrying out daily partial shutdowns and will go on strike from April 1, which affects the performance of various processes,” monetary policy director Bruno Serra said in a supporting vote. the decision on Wednesday.

To keep systems secure and essential business going ahead of the strike, Serra said it was deemed appropriate to defer payments, adding they would be offered again “when the issues are resolved.”

Workers at Brazil’s central bank voted Monday for an indefinite strike starting April 1 over unanswered demands for a pay rise. So far, the partial shutdowns have affected the release of economic indicators and other data.

The central bank said the measure aims to preserve the proper functioning of IT systems given the “potential risks” imposed by the strike.

Financial industry group Febraban called the decision “cautious”, adding that policymakers had avoided implementing new features on the most sensitive days.

($1 = 4.7302 reais)

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Reporting by Bernardo Caram; Written by Peter Frontini and Marcela Ayres; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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Shawanda H. Saldana