Brazil: Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) | BNDES’ Ombudsperson
The Brazilian Development Bank, or Banco Nacional do Desenvolvimento Econômico e Social (BNDES), is a state-owned development bank and the main source of financing for infrastructure and expansion of industry in a variety of economic sectors in Brazil. BNDES also has BNDES EXIM Automatic, which is aimed at providing support to trade Brazilian goods abroad through a network of accredited banks.
Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)
Created In: 1952
Headquarters: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Mission: To foster sustainable and competitive development in the Brazilian economy, generating employment while reducing social and regional inequalities.
The Accountability Office: The BNDES’ Ombudsperson
Established in: 2003
Functions: Dispute Resolution
The Accountability Office
In 2003, BNDES created the position of Ombudsperson within the bank to receive suggestions, reports of misconduct, and complaints from both the external and internal public. The Ombudsperson assists in resolving disputes between citizens and BNDES by issuing clarifications and tries to strengthen the bonds between the bank, its clients, and the general public.
There is currently little information available about the functioning of the BNDES’ Ombudsperson mechanism and the bank does not currently have a disclosure policy regarding complaints.
In August 2020, Accountability Counsel joined more than 50 organizations to urge transparency, community-driven priorities, and greater accountability at BNDES. In an open letter (available in Portuguese), sent to high-level officials, we have called on the bank to address policies and practices that have deepened social inequality, reinforced unsustainable exploitation of natural resources, and led to human right violations. Noting that the current Ombudsman system of BNDES has not met the needs of communities in delivering remedying, the letter urges the creation of an effective grievance mechanism to better hear and address community concerns.