© Reuters. A view shows the Central Bank headquarters building in Brasilia, Brazil March 22, 2022. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
By Bernardo Caram
BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s central bank decided on Wednesday to postpone payments to financial institutions for resources held in accounts from the Pix instant payment system, underscoring mounting risks from striking workers despite the relatively small impact for banks.
The payment, which was to add interest at 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 analysts association ANBCB, financial institutions will no longer receive around 2 million reais ($422,030) per day.
“The central bank’s workers are carrying out daily partial stoppages and will go on strike from April 1, which affects the performance of various processes,” Monetary Policy Director Bruno Serra said in a vote supporting the decision on Wednesday.
To preserve the security of the systems and the maintenance of essential activities ahead of the strike, Serra said it was considered appropriate to postpone the payments, adding they would be again proposed “when the issues are overcome.”
Brazil’s central bank employees voted on Monday for an indefinite strike starting on April 1 in the face of unanswered demands about a wage increase. Until now, partial shutdowns have been affecting the release of economic indicators and other data.
The central bank said the measure aims to preserve the proper functioning of IT systems considering “the potential risks” imposed by the strike.
The financial industry group Febraban called the decision “prudent” adding that policymakers had avoided implementing new features on more sensitive days.
($1 = 4.7302 reais)
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