(Adds Goldfajn comment, background on spreads)
BRASILIA, Feb 7 (Reuters) - The Brazilian central bank is working to reduce bank lending spreads sustainably and pave the way for lower interest rates in the long run, said its chief, Ilan Goldfajn.
Some of the measures have already been announced, but others are still in the works, including regulatory changes to improve credit guarantees and reduce the share of subsidized lending in the Brazilian credit market, Goldfajn said on a panel on Tuesday.
Spreads had dropped under former president Dilma Rousseff’s administration, before Brazil’s economic crisis, but that decline was not sustainable, Goldfajn added.
“Our objective going forward is to have credit growing along with the rest of the economy, in a sustainable way over time,” Goldfajn said during his opening speech.
Brazil has long had one of the world’s highest interest rates among major economies after going through many episodes of hyperinflation over the past century. The spread for non-earmarked loans reached 40.2 percent in December, according to central bank data last month. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione and Marcela Ayres; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)