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Brazil's central bank can impose heftier fines under new measure

Brazilian President Michel Temer on June 8 signed a provisional measure increasing the maximum fine amount the central bank can levy against financial institutions for violations to 2 billion Brazilian reais from 250,000 reais, according to a statement from Banco Central do Brasil.

It also provides the regulator with "coercive and preventive measures," the statement noted, including the ability to impose daily fines of up to 100,000 reais.

Under the measure, the central bank can sign leniency deals with financial institutions and individuals who admit wrongdoing and collaborate in investigations. Depending on the case, deals can potentially reduce penalties or even remove them.

The move, which had been anticipated by the media for months, reportedly was made after the central bank's board determined the current penalty was too low and did not "represent a real punishment" for erring institutions.

As of June 7, US$1 was equivalent to 3.28 Brazilian reais.