Febraban is pushing for changes in the regulation that gives benefits to Zetta members. Photo: Gerd Altmann, Pixabay.

Zetta , do you really want to speak the ‘truth’? ‘You don’t tell’ to anyone, but we do!” This is how Febraban (Brazilian Federation of Banks), always contained in its public pronouncements, went to social media to defend the segment. With this, he rebutted criticism from the association of digital banks and repeated that there is unfair competition due to regulatory and labor benefits given to fintechs.

Last week, Zetta posted a report by Valor Investe on a study by the Brazilian Institute for Consumer Protection (Idec) on bank fees. According to the survey, most of the single fees of the five largest banks in the country rose more than inflation from June 2020 to July 2021. But, those of digital banks were unchanged.

The nudge has the right address: the Central Bank of Brazil (BC), the market regulator. This is clear in excerpts such as “The true ‘truth’ is that the great fintechs really like to pay only ‘half down payment’ and are in no way different from banks. In fact, they are not just banks to pay less taxes, generate fewer jobs, have few regulatory and labor obligations.”

The point is that it is common for countries to give benefits to startups to facilitate the rapid generation of innovation and disruption. And so they have more chances to overcome the surf of the first years of operation. Febraban hopes that this rule will be revised, at least for the digital banks that most annoy the conventional sector, such as Nubank. BC is evaluating.

Febraban complains about interest and Zetta about tariffs

“We’re not ashamed of being banks, quite the opposite, and we also don’t hide behind letters, marketing and brands,” he said Isaac Sidney, president of the federation, in the post

Zetta is a recent association of 14 fintechs that Nubank, Mercado Pago and Google created. Google no longer appears in the membership list or in Zetta’s mission description, which explains that only Nubank and Mercado Pago created the institution.

In another excerpt of the post, Febraban states that “the Zetta Nor does it take into account that Fintechs pay much less tax than banks, which pay 45% on profits, 25% of which are IR and 20% CSLL, while Fintechs pay only 9% or, at most, 15% CSLL. ”

The hook to get into this subject was the information that on the page of BC there is a “truth”. And which are “data that show that “in the last week of August, the average interest rate on the revolving card of the Nubank was 291.67% per year, GREATER than the average of the 5 large banks, 271.68%.” Larger in capital letters.

“In non-consigned personal credit, the average rate charged by the Nubank it was 62.86% at the end of August, while the average for the 10 large banks was 54.54% per year and for the big five, 60.65% per year”, completes the federation.

Nubank touched Itaú as the first bank

Thus, Febraban made the same criticism to Nubank that conventional banks receive: that they charge very high interest rates. And he chose as his character none other than the digital bank that is on the verge of making an initial public offering (IPO) on Nasdaq.

The expectation at the IPO is to get a valuation of US$75 billion to US$100 billion. These values ​​are equivalent to between 1.5 to 2 Itaú banks, which are valued at around US$55 billion.

“A Zetta did not tell that the Nubank, which has a face, size, products and even the name of a bank, prefers not to call itself a bank, but charges higher interest rates from its customers than the average of the five or 10 large Brazilian banks. Look well!”

Nubank is the fintech that received the most investments in Latin America and is also highlighted in global rankings. A survey of what the JP Morgan released last February showed that the Nubank hit Itaú on the list of the “first bank” used by Brazilians. The largest private bank in the country appeared in 15.8% of the responses, while fintech, created in 2013 appeared in 14.9%.

Traditional banks still claim that they have generated 500,000 jobs in the country “and have more requirements, unlike fintechs that do not need to follow the rules for hiring bank employees.”

Certainly Febraban intended that the post would have repercussions in the media and in the sector. Got. Now, it’s to see if he can convince regulators of his demands.