April 22, 2019 / 11:48 PM / 3 months ago

UPDATE 1-Brazil's antitrust watchdog probing banks over competition hurdles to fintech

(Adds details from statement, comments from banks)

SAO PAULO, April 22 (Reuters) - Brazil’s antitrust watchdog Cade is investigating four banks in the country for allegedly creating competition hurdles to digital banking newcomer Nubank, the watchdog said in a statement on Monday.

Cade said Banco do Brasil SA, Caixa Economica Federal, Banco Santander Brasil SA and Banco Bradesco SA were denying requests to schedule automatic payments from Nubank clients that also were account holders at those banks.

It said the banks would be given a chance to defend themselves and then the case would be sent to the Cade’s Administrative Court, which would give a final ruling.

In a statement, Nubank said it hoped “regulatory authorities will continue to protect and stimulate industry competitiveness by ensuring that new entrants will continue to have room to innovate.”

Bradesco declined to comment. Santander Brasil said it had still not been notified by Cade. Caixa Economica did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Banco do Brasil said it had provided “all the information requested by Cade and remains at its disposal for any further clarification.” (Reporting by Tatiana Bautzer, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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