Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Brazilian Banks Abroad

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


This article aims to evaluate the service provided by Brazilian banks with branches abroad. It is based on an interview with Miguel Vale, a foreigner businessman that faced several issues with Brazilian financial institutions overseas.


When dealing with Brazilian institutions, foreigners may come across difficulties and procedures that would be unacceptable in many other institutions.

Financial institutions are primordial for business and for that, many Brazilian banks have offices abroad. However, the service provided by these banks is far from being favorable to foreign business and many times they make mistakes that would cause several damages, including financial embezzlement, businesses cancellation and the stress one has to go through when dealing with mistakes made by these institutions.

As presented in the article “Are Brazilian Banks Ready for Foreign Business?”, the first obstacle is language. If you need to report a complaint, there is a high probability that you will have to report the situation in Portuguese, what will lead to expenses if the person does not speaks Portuguese, which is what happens in most cases.

Besides the language issue, there is also the constant use of a practice known as“jeitinho brasileiro”, which means disrespect to laws, regulations and social conventions. As an example of this practice, we can mention the social acceptance of piracy, as it is shown in the article “Protection of Intellectual Property in Brazil”.

Services Provided by Brazilian Banks Abroad

Most of the main Brazilian banks has an international branch. Some of them are exclusive for legal entities, but in locations where there is a high concentration of Brazilians, some of these banks offer the same services offered in Brazil.

One of them is Banco Itaú, who has a branch in Tokyo, which is a city with a high concentration of Brazilians. Another one is Banco do Brasil, that has branches in New York, Madrid, Paris, London, Frankfurt, Milan and some Latin American cities.

The presence in many different countries causes the impression that Brazilian banks are ready to assist foreigners and to provide a connection between the branches in the country and those abroad. However this is not what happens.

Most Brazilian banks abroad share the same level of irresponsibility and even disrespect towards its clients. The main complaints are:

  • Delays: a simple transaction such as opening a business bank account take up to 40 days;
  • Errors: errors that can cause significant delays and become an obstacle to business transactions;
  • Irresponsibility: no one in the banks take responsibility for their mistakes. Instead, they keep blaming one another, even the client;
  • As foreigners do not have a CPF, simple transactions get complicated and delays and mistakes happen;
  • No international know-how: most of the Brazilian banks abroad are unprepared for global market;
  • High interest rate, overcharges and delays that can be of an entire year.

The Central Bank

Central Bank is Brazil's highest monetary authority and the country's governing body, finance and economics.

It is responsible for the regulation of all Brazilian financial institutions operating in the country and abroad. Therefore, when the financial institution can not solve the problem, the client must report it to the Central Bank.

However, Central Bank has not been so different from the financial institutions as it blames them and exempt themselves from responsibilities.

So basically, if you have a problem with a Brazilian bank abroad, there is not much you can do, as the financial institutions are mostly incompetent and the Central Bank tries its best to stand aside. Both seem to be totally disinterested in assisting foreigners.

The presence of Brazilian financial institutions abroad give the impression that Brazil is finally ready to really integrate foreign business, but it just takes one step inside one of the branches to realize how many years behind these banks actually are.

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