January 23, 2019 / 1:19 AM / 6 months ago

Banco BTG Pactual asks regulator to probe XP over anti-competitive practices

SAO PAULO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Brazilian investment bank Banco BTG Pactual SA filed a complaint on Tuesday against securities firm XP Investimentos SA with the country’s antitrust watchdog Cade accusing XP of anticompetitive practices and asking for an investigation, according to documents seen by Reuters.

In the complaint, BTG alleged XP is not complying with an agreement it signed with Cade last year to allow Brazil’s largest private lender, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA, to buy a 30 percent stake in XP.

Among the conditions XP agreed to in March 2018 was a provision “not to hinder potential migration of independent brokers associated with XP to other institutions.”

XP filed lawsuits against BTG last month, seeking to bar BTG Pactual from luring independent brokers associated with XP to operate on BTG’s new digital platform.

BTG, XP and Itau did not immediately reply to requests for comment after business hours.

The deal between XP and Itaú was approved by Cade last year, but Brazil’s central bank barred Itaú from acquiring control of the financial services firm at least until 2026, stepping up efforts to safeguard competition in the financial sector. (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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