Brazil credit-card interest rate tops 300 percent

July 18th, 2012 - 12:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Brasilia, July 18 (IANS/EFE) Credit-card interest rates in Brazil climbed above 300 percent last month, a media report said.

Brazilian rates are many times higher than those in other Latin American countries such as Peru, where the median rate is 55 percent; Chile, 54.24 percent; Argentina, 50 percent; and Colombia, 29.23 percent, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper said Tuesday, citing a report from the Proteste consumer association.

The Brazilian central bank’s benchmark interest rate has declined steadily in 2012 and now stands at 8 percent, yet rates on credit cards have climbed inexorably from the January median of 237.9 percent, according to the report.

“There is no economic explanation for this,” one of the report’s authors, economist Hessia Costilla, told o Estado.

Proteste analyzed the rates Brazil’s 13 largest banks charge on credit card debt.

–IANS/EFE
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