Brazil: Financial System

Article Index


In Brazil today there are currently in operation 4,317 financial entities, of which 310 are institutions of a banking nature, 1,939 are investment funds and 543 are non-banking institutions associated with the capital market.

Among the banking institutions which are in private hands, 161 are entirely nationally owned, 38 are controlled by foreigners and a further 29 are controlled domestically but involve participation from abroad. Of the State banks, four are in federal hands and 32 are run by the states. Throughout the country there are a total of 17,597 bank branches.

Concentration levels in the banking sector are high, excluding the participation of the Banco do Brasil and the Caixa Econômica Federal. These two represent the major government institutions. The eight leading financial conglomerates in private hands account for approximately 45% of the total volume of deposits.

The contribution of the financial sector to the GDP in the period 1990-1995 was, on average, 10.24%. As a consequence of the stabilization program, this contribution declined to 7.7% in 1995.