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XP Investimentos eyes early 2019 launch for banking affiliate

Brazil's XP Investimentos Corretora de Câmbio Títulos e Valores Mobiliários SA hopes to launch an affiliated bank in early 2019 and expects to secure central bank approval for the plan by December, Valor Econômico reported.

The expected timeframe for the initiative was disclosed by XP Investimentos CEO Guilherme Benchimol at an event in São Paulo.

The new bank, which will offer checking accounts, transfers and other complementary services, plans to issue certificates of deposits at the beginning of next year to finance its activities, the executive said.

"We see room to lend with cheap rates because [the bank] will have clients who have collateral with us, from their investment portfolio," Benchimol was quoted as saying. "It's a smart credit concept."

Speaking on Brazil's polarized political climate, Benchimol said XP Investimentos will continue to see growth opportunities regardless of the outcome of an Oct. 28 run-off vote in which right-wing Congressman Jair Bolsonaro will compete for the presidency against leftist rival Fernando Haddad.

"Money that is being poorly invested already exists, it is already there in the market," he said.

In August, Brazil's central bank approved the first part of Itaú Unibanco Holding SA's deal to acquire a 49.9% stake in XP Investimentos. However, the central bank made Itaú agree to certain commitments aimed at reinforcing the independence of the XP group, including a stipulation that Itaú not acquire control of XP for the next eight years.