April 27, 2020 / 4:22 PM / a month ago

Brazilian banks postpone $4 bln in debts for consumers, companies

SAO PAULO, April 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian banks have so far postponed 22.2 billion reais ($3.91 billion) in debt installments due in the coming months, in a move to help consumers and companies amid the coronavirus outbreak, the country's bank industry group said on Monday.

Febraban, as the association is known, said in a statement the amount refers to 3.8 million contracts, which amount to 230.6 billion reais.

In March, Brazil's top-five lenders - Itau Unibanco Holding SA, Banco do Brasil SA, Banco Bradesco SA , Banco Santander Brasil SA and Caixa Economica Federal - said they would offer clients a grace period of between two and six months to pay debt installments amid the economic crisis stemming from the pandemic.

Nearly 14 billion reais in postponements refer to consumer lending, Febraban said.

Still, large companies have taken out 101.5 billion reais in new loans while consumers took 36 billion reais, Febraban said. The association did not did not provide a basis for disbursement comparison with the previous year.

The banks' association also said it has renewed 66.5 billion reais in loan contracts so far. ($1 = 5.6794 reais) (Reporting by Carolina Mandl; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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