January 23, 2019 / 1:45 PM / 6 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's BTG seeks probe of XP for anti-competitive practices

(Updates with XP comment)

By Tatiana Bautzer

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

In the complaint, filed on Tuesday, BTG said XP is not complying with an agreement it signed with Cade last year as a condition of the sale of a 30 percent stake in itself to Brazil’s largest private lender, Itaú Unibanco Holding SA .

XP agreed in March 2018 “not to hinder potential migration of independent brokers associated with XP to other institutions.”

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

BTG and Itau did not comment.

In a statement, XP said it is complying with the requirements of the agreement with the regulator. “All independent brokers may chose the institution that they partner with, as long as they respect contracts,” XP added.

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, to safeguard competition in the financial sector. (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and Steve Orlofsky)

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