As the country sinks, Itaú and Santander profits soar in the

Two of the three largest private banks operating in the country, Santander and Itaú Unibanco, released their balance sheets for the third quarter last week. As hunger and misery grow, they remain immune to the crisis and expand their profits in the midst of the covid-19 pandemic.

According to data presented last Tuesday (3), Itaú had a 34.8% increase in profit in the 3rd quarter compared to the same period of the previous year. Recurring net income, which excludes extraordinary items, was R$6.779 billion.

The bank’s operating expenses were up just 1% from the previous year, despite inflation. The Extended National Consumer Price Index (IPCA) reached 10.25% in the 12-month period through September.

Read too: With the Selic readjustment, Brazil will transfer R$ 75 billion to the financial sector outside the “Ceiling”

Last week, the Spanish Santander had disclosed a profit of R$ 4.27 billion in the quarter, an increase of 12% compared to the same period of the previous year. In comparison with the 2nd quarter, the growth was 4.1%.

Protest in front of Santander branch against layoffs of workers in the pandemic / Contraf-CUT

Return on equity reached 22.4%, the highest in the bank’s history, which approved the distribution of R$ 3 billion to shareholders.

Bradesco must present its numbers at the end of the Stock Exchange trading session, on the afternoon of Thursday (4). The expectation is also positive in relation to the previous quarter.

How do they profit from the crisis?

Less than a week after the World Health Organization (WHO) decreed the covid-19 pandemic, the Brazilian government released R$ 3.2 trillion for banks to renegotiate terms for credits already granted.

More than a year after the start of the pandemic, banks had only used 23.7% of that amount. The mission of serving the population and small businesses during the health crisis was practically restricted to public banks, according to data from the Central Bank.

“It is not socially fair, as public concessions, that they are increasingly dismissing, closing jobs, especially in a delicate moment like this”, analyzed Vivian Machado, technician at the Inter-Union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (Dieese) in the subsection of National Confederation of Workers in the Financial Sector (CONTRAF-CUT). in an interview with Brasil de Fato.

“Banks claim they are digitizing everything because it is in the customer’s interest, but if there was no such demand, the lottery offices and Caixa Econômica would not always be full. They saved R$750 million on three or four items from last year’s administrative expenses just because of the home office. Meanwhile, the workers have more expenses with energy, with food”, he added.

The growth in profitability is also due to the provisions made in 2020, that is, reserves that banks created to cover estimated future losses.

“Last year, there was a decline in balance sheets, but not necessarily due to problems in financial activity. What happened is that, given an unpredictable scenario, with the pandemic enacted, banks increased their provisioning, fearing an explosion in default,” he explained Ax.

The scenario for financial institutions was less disastrous than imagined, precisely due to the emergency credit plans launched by the Central Bank.

Banks have noticed this trend in the last year, and the excess provisioning has been reverted.

The increase in profits is also due to the reduction in personnel expenses. In full migration to digital format, private banks closed 1,343 branches during the pandemic.

Banks made a commitment with unions not to lay off workers during the pandemic, but broke that agreement as of June 2020.

Bradesco and Santander closed 10,933 jobs between July 2020 and March 2021. Itaú was the only one of the large private banks to increase the number of employees, with 1.8 thousand more jobs – the result of the incorporation of a company of technology.

In August 2021, judge Jeronimo Azambuja Franco Neto, of the 60th Labor Court of São Paulo, sentenced Santander to R$ 50 million for moral damages, in a lawsuit filed by the São Paulo Banking Employees Union, for breaching the promise of don’t fire.

In addition to the dismissal of 3,220 workers in the pandemic, Santander was considered to have persecuted union leaders.

The Spanish bank appealed, and the indemnity is suspended pending judgment on the appeal. If the conviction is confirmed, the R$ 50 million will go to the Diffuse Rights Defense Fund, intended to repair damages to society as a whole.

Despite the collective agreement that guaranteed bank workers in Brazil a 10.97% increase in September, the increase in interest rates by the Jair Bolsonaro government (no party) should produce positive effects on the balance sheets of the 4th quarter, with even better prospects for the private financial institutions.

O Brazil in fact questioned the Brazilian Federation of Banks (Febraban) about the layoffs in the middle of the pandemic. Check out the note sent to the article:

“The National Federation of Banks has not negotiated or signed any sectoral union agreement for not carrying out dismissals during the pandemic. The turnover of workers in the banking sector is traditionally about 3 times lower than the national average. Banks use dismissals volunteers, such as resignation, POS and pensions, to adapt its structure to the new market reality.

And the growth of digital operations does not result in a reduction in the number of people working in the sector, on the contrary. The advancement of digital services has led financial institutions to hire a large number of professionals, especially in areas such as IT and security against digital fraud, for example.”

Edition: Vivian Virissimo

Deixe um comentário

O seu endereço de e-mail não será publicado. Campos obrigatórios são marcados com *