Itaú bank’s investment offer in Bitcoin is cited in unfair competition process

Recently, Itaú bank began offering Bitcoin investments to its clients in the segment Personality, who are middle- and high-income people, but the offer ended up being cited in a process that runs at the Administrative Council for Economic Defense (Cade), where the bank is accused of unfair competition practices.

The troubled relationship between banks and cryptocurrency companies in Brazil began with talk of risks due to the unregulated market.

In addition, banking institutions justified consecutive account closures with references to possible money laundering practices of Brazilian exchanges.

However, even with these unilateral closures of bank accounts, brokers turned to Cade, which investigates unfair competition practices in Brazil. The process in the federal autarchy, linked to the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, has been running since 2018, without reaching an outcome.

Recent investment offers with Bitcoin by Itaú will stop in Cade’s process

Brazilian cryptocurrency brokers with the Brazilian Association of Cryptoactives and Blockchain (ABCB) are resorting to in an attempt to count on Cade’s support to understand that banks practice unfair competition when closing bank accounts.

However, in the view of Fernando de Magalhães Furlan, representative of ABCB, Itaú has publicly demonstrated that it is the “most aggressive” against these companies. That’s because this bank closes accounts without justification and denies opening accounts, said the lawyer, who added screenshots of the Bitcoin offers in the process.

“Below are recent copies of publications by Banco ltaú (popular) and
of its segment ltaú Personnalhté (medium/high income), exactly one of the institutions
more aggressive financial in relation to crypto-asset brokers (exchanges) in the
unjustified closure and denial of account opening, as per
demonstrated in these records.”

Screenshots of Bitcoin investment offers by Itaú
Screenshots of Bitcoin investment offers by Itaú/Cade

Itaú advertising called Bitcoin even digital gold
Itaú advertising called Bitcoin even digital gold/Cade

Itaú has organized events about Bitcoin products
Itaú has organized events about products with Bitcoin/Cade

Lawyer asks Cade to decide on the process, as it has been stalled for 10 months

In addition to citing Itaú’s Bitcoin investment offers, including advertising in emails and social networks, Furlan asked Cade to re-analyze the process, which has been stalled for 10 months since the last update.

“[…] can also contribute to a decision of e. Administrative Court of
Economic Defense or d. General Superintendence, considering, maximum date,
that 10 months have passed since the last unequivocal act for the calculation
of the facts”.

Furlan asked Cade to consider his new information in the process, in an application made last Thursday (12). It is worth noting that Cade has not determined a period to investigate the case and the Brazilian cryptocurrency market has been waiting for a decision since 2019.