Febraban reaffirms support for manifesto in defense of democracy – 09/02/2021 – Market

Febraban (Brazilian Federation of Banks) issued a statement in which it reaffirmed its support for the manifesto “A Praça é dos Três Poderes”, which defended institutional harmony in the country.

The document, prepared in recent weeks, gathered signatures from more than 200 entities and was expected to be published by the last Tuesday (31). The coordination of membership collection and dissemination was the responsibility of Fiesp (Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo), but the organisation’s president, Paulo Skaf, postponed its publication.

The manifesto displeased the government, which saw in the text criticisms of the administration of Jair Bolsonaro (no party) –which has been increasing attacks on democracy and, in particular, the STF (Supreme Federal Court)–, and made Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brazil threatened to abandon Febraban if the document was released with the signature of public banks.

Skaf’s decision is attributed by businessmen to a gesture he made to Arthur Lira (PP-AL), president of the Chamber of Deputies. He would be indebted to the congressman, who accepted the sector’s pleas in the reform of the Income Tax.

The president of Caixa, Pedro Guimarães, tried to stop the institutional adhesion of the banking sector to the text. Fausto Ribeiro, president of Banco do Brasil –and who is on the board of directors of Febraban, as well as Guimarães–, supported Caixa’s position, increasing pressure within the entity, until the divergence became public on Saturday (28).

Since then, the disclosure of the manifesto has been an open question. In an official note released this Monday (30), the Fiesp said it had postponed the publication of the text to give more time for entities to adhere to the text.

Despite pressure from public banks and the postponement of official disclosure, Febraban, in a statement, reiterated its support for the document “whose sole purpose is to defend the harmony of the institutional environment in the country.”

“Febraban considers that the content of the manifesto, approved by its own governance, was widely publicized by the country’s media, fulfilling its purpose. The federation expresses respect for the option of Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal, which took a stand against the signature of the manifesto,” he said.

In the note, the organization said that, in its scope, the matter is closed and “will no longer be bound by the decisions of Fiesp, which, without consulting the other entities, decided to postpone the publication of the manifesto without a date.”

“Febraban confirms its support for the content of the text it approved, which is already widely known, thus fulfilling its role by joining the other productive sectors in Brazil in a request for balance and serenity, basic elements of a solid and vigorous democracy”, finalizes the note.

Among Bolsonaro’s allies, the assessment is that the defense of harmony between the Powers on the eve of September 7 would be a bad sign, as it could give the impression that the productive sector is against the government or even be interpreted as a disembarkation of businessmen from the Bolsonaro support base.

Such as sheet showed, the dissatisfaction of businessmen and bankers with the progress of the second phase of the tax reform, related to the Income Tax, served as a driving force for the manifestation that called for harmony between the three Powers of the Republic.

The final text of the reform was approved this Thursday in the Chamber.

In the words of an executive who followed the discussions at Fiesp, it was the “junction of hunger with the desire to eat”: entrepreneurs dissatisfied with the reform, trying to recover from the effects of the pandemic, concerned with business planning in 2022, who begins now in September, watching the Powers wage a tug of war in Brasília.

Skaf’s retreat, however, angered executives. The president of one of the entities that had adhered to the document called Skaf’s attitude a lack of institutional deference, but others used harsher words. They called the decision a unilateral and even cowardly political maneuver. In the case of the automotive industry, there are executives talking about betrayal.

Civil construction and developers were divided on the document. The Cbic (Brazilian Chamber of Construction Industry) publicly warned that it would not sign it. Abrainc, an association that brings together the 20 largest developers in the country, prefers not to talk about the topic.

THE sheet he found that even leaders who have already taken critical positions against the Jair Bolsonaro government will decide that they will not sign the manifesto in order to avoid closing doors in the government.

The announcement that Caixa Econômica Federal and Banco do Brasil would leave Febraban (Brazilian Federation of Banks) sparked an alert for the entities. The sign was that participating in any movement, even a mild one, could represent the end of the dialogue with ministers and secretaries of strategic portfolios for the sector.

Minas Gerais

On Wednesday (1st) Minas Gerais businesspeople launched another manifesto in defense of democracy, after the FIEMG (Federation of Industries of the State of Minas Gerais) released a document criticizing the Judiciary.

ACMinas (Commercial and Business Association of Minas Gerais) published on Wednesday the “2nd Manifesto of Mineiros to the Brazilian People”, defending democracy and structural reforms in the country.

The text had already been prepared for six months and was scheduled to be officially released on September 7th. “It was anticipated because Brazil is melting,” says the association’s president, José Anchieta da Silva, in reference to the deterioration he has seen in the country’s institutional and political framework in recent weeks.

The Fiemg document, on the other hand, mentions investigations of sites accused in investigations against fake news and says that “imposing sanctions without due legal process, contradictory and broad defense is a precipitation, in addition to an unequivocal affront to the Federal Constitution”.

​Read Febraban’s press release

The Brazilian Federation of Banks (FEBRABAN) reaffirms the support lent to the manifesto “The Square is of the Three Powers”, whose adhesion took place, since the beginning, within a pluri-federative context of representative entities of the productive sector and whose sole purpose is to defend the harmony of the institutional environment in the country.

The Federation of Industries of the State of São Paulo (FIESP) assumed the coordination of the signature collection process and was responsible for the publication, according to an e-mail sent to more than 200 entities last August 27th.

FEBRABAN considers that the content of the manifesto, approved by its own governance, was widely publicized by the country’s media, fulfilling its purpose. The Federation expresses respect for the option of Banco do Brasil and Caixa Econômica Federal, which took a stand against the signing of the manifesto.

In view of this, FEBRABAN assesses that, within its scope, the matter is closed and, therefore, it will no longer be bound by FIESP’s decisions, which, without consulting the other entities, decided to postpone the publication of the manifesto without a date.

FEBRABAN confirms its support for the content of the text it approved, which is already widely known to the public, thus fulfilling its role by joining the other productive sectors in Brazil in a request for balance and serenity, the cornerstones of a solid and vigorous democracy.