SAO PAULO, June 13 Brazil's government may have
to amend parts of an executive decree raising fines on financial
firms involved in illicit acts to include prosecutors in the
structuring of plea deals along with the central bank and the
securities industry watchdog, Valor Econômico newspaper said on
Terms of the original decree, being discussed by lawmakers,
set administrative, not criminal punishment, of banks and other
financial firms involved in corruption. An amendment could be in
response to calls from Brazilian prosecutors who have criticized
the content of the decree, Valor reported.
Including prosecutors in bank plea deals would be a key step
toward enhancing the framework that would empower the central
bank and capital markets regulator CVM and improve transparency,
Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said last week.
Neither the central bank nor the CVM had an immediate
The decree raises fines for banks to as much as 2 billion
reais ($603 million) from 250,000 reais currently. It also
allows the central bank to strike plea bargain agreements with
financial firms that admit breaching the law in exchange for
softer fines or more lenient prison terms for their executives.
President Michel Temer's administration sped up preparation
of the decree because of the risk of new disclosures snaring
Brazilian banks in a vast corruption scandal, Reuters reported
on June 8, citing government sources.
The decree was announced as Congress launches an
investigation into the stock and currency trades of JBS SA
and news of plea-bargain testimony from its owners
surfaced. JBS, which is controlled by the billionaire Batista
family, is the world's No. 1 meatpacker.
($1 = 3.3176 reais)
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Jeffrey