Itaú Unibanco, Santander analyzing request to return US$264mn to clients

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Brazilian banks Itaú Unibanco (NYSE: ITUB) and Santander Brazil are analyzing a request from the Rio de Janeiro branch of the federal public ministry to return a combined 430mn reais (US$264mn) for alleged excess charges, local news service Agência Estado reported.

The charges were made during 2008-10. If the banks do not return the money - 265mn reais for Santander and 165mn reais for Itaú Unibanco - they could be subject to legal action for failing to comply with central bank BCB rules.

Both banks said they believed the charges in question were legal, but added that before making a final decision on the issue they would analyze the information provided in the public ministry's request, the report said.

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Itaú Unibanco is the largest private sector bank in Brazil, and the Santander unit is third biggest among private banks.