Western Union gets ok to run bank, forex brokerage, strikes deal with Bradesco

Friday, May 6, 2011

US-based payment services company Western Union (NYSE: WU) has received its long-awaited license from Brazilian central bank BCB to operate as a commercial bank and foreign exchange brokerage in the country.

In September 2008, then President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva signed a decree giving Western Union the right to set up shop in Brazil, after which the company complied with all legal requirements to establish itself in the country.

"This process resulted in the operational license approval finally being granted this week," company spokesperson Paula Barifouse told BNamericas.

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Western Union will continue to provide its normal cross-border money transfer services to consumers and begin offering new services, such as consumer bill payments and domestic money transfers, BCB said in a statement.

Western Union has operated in Brazil since 1998 through its agent network, which today includes 11,300 bank and foreign exchange brokerage firm locations.


On Friday (May 6), Western Union also announced that Brazil's Bradesco (NYSE: BBD) had begun rolling out the company's global money transfer service via the bank's 4,880 plus locations in the country.

Bradesco is the first private sector bank to offer the Western Union money transfer service in Brazil.

The deal was first announced last year and involves receiving money transfers in Brazil from abroad, with the ability to send money coming in the near future, Western Union said in a press release.

To read Western Union's full press release, go to this link