Caixa will use the Caixa Tem application, created to facilitate the distribution of emergency aid, to grant microcredit to around 100 million individuals. They will be loans of R$200, R$300, with very low interest. The rate of 1.09% per month charged in the FGTS withdrawal-birthday modality can serve as a reference. This is the so-called “financial market revolution” that the bank’s president, Pedro Guimarães, announced last week.
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The disclosure should take place in the coming days, with the presence of President Jair Bolsonaro. But the loans will only start to be released after the last installment of emergency aid, which is scheduled for October. The financing limit is estimated at R$3,000 per CPF, and the resources for the new line, initially stipulated at R$10 billion, with a margin to rise to R$20 billion, funded by Caixa’s own profit.
With this move, the government hopes, at the same time, to attract support at a time of low popularity for Bolsonaro, and to bury the episode once and for all. Febraban (Brazilian Federation of Banks), which moved the market throughout the week and opened a crisis from which no one left unscathed. After starting the week by threatening to leave Febraban, Caixa and Banco do Brasil backed off on Friday, after the bank federation issued a statement declaring that it will not sign the Fiesp manifesto, despite reaffirming support for pacification between the three Powers of the Republic.
The Caixa Tem app provided the state bank with profiles of thousands of users, who served as the basis for the proposal to create microcredit. They became “customers” of Caixa compulsorily, in order to be entitled to emergency aid. Last year, the app designed to help the low-income population to have access to the transfer of resources from the federal government was the most downloaded in the country, with more than 300 thousand downloads.
Now, the bank will have to carry out a campaign to explain to these new “customers” that the money it intends to release is no longer a donation to help overcome the difficulties that the covid-19 pandemic brought. It is money that will have to be returned with interest.
Of course, the rate is low and it is a bank credit that these users would hardly get. But, for many people, the app and the help they received at the ATM were their first “banking” experience. Sought, Caixa did not grant an interview.
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