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The New CEO of Brazil’s Development Bank Plans to Maintain Tough Lending Practices

The main entrance to the state-owned BraThe main entrance to the state-owned Bra
The main entrance to the state-owned Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on July 4, 2011.Vanderlei Almeida—AFP/Getty Images

The new CEO of Brazil’s development bank (BNDES) said on Monday that the institution should not act as a “customer service counter” for businesses and should be run according to national development interests.

Paulo Rabello de Castro said that despite the development bank coming under pressure from credit-starved business leaders after it imposed tougher terms for loan disbursements, it would not change its focus, and underscored that all financial institutions are more cautious during recessions like the one Brazil has faced for two years.

Castro said in his first news conference since his appointment last week that the bank should support companies not with subsidies, but with credit availability.

“Business leaders should not dictate what the BNDES does.” he said.

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Castro said President Michel Temer had asked him to analyze how the bank could help more mid-sized and small companies, the most affected by Brazil’s longest recession on record.