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Rio de Janeiro sues 12 banks to obtain information on 'abandoned' assets

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro filed 12 lawsuits against banks at the end of June in a bid to obtain information about "abandoned" assets and financial investments claimed by the city government, Valor Econômico reported.

The city reportedly believes that it is entitled to seize assets that have not been moved for a long time, including inheritance without any known heirs.

A Rio de Janeiro district attorney has argued that banks are legally obliged to lift bank secrecy on deposits and investments after 15 years have passed without any movements. The government reportedly wants to see data of savings accounts, pension funds, treasury bonds and other financial instruments, to determine if the assets belong to Rio de Janeiro.

According to Valor, the court accepted seven of the lawsuits. As a result, those banks will be asked to express an opinion on the cases. Meanwhile, the city government appealed the five lawsuits rejected.