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American: Banks signaled withdrawal risk but changed their story later, the report said

The trustee’s confidential document shows that credit operations began in 2015, with R$ 3.45 billion; the banks deny having withheld information and accuse the retailer of “bad faith” and try to divert attention

RIO – O Santander and the Itau transactions at risk of processing reported (known as a pass) with the Americans, but they have replaced the reports and rectified what they originally stated. Withdrawal risk is a type of financing that has become the retailer reported BRL 20 billion shortfall in January 2023. Information about the change in the banks’ version is in the confidential report that the judicial administrators – Advocacia Zveiter and Preserva Ação – handed over to the Rio de Janeiro justice system earlier this week. OR Stadium had access to the document.

The employment of trait risk is the subject of controversy. Americanas claims that the banks and auditors knew the balance of the credit line. Financial institutions say the information was the responsibility of Americanas.

According to the confidential version of the report by the judicial administrator of Americanas, Itaú and Santander reported risky transactions entered into with network providers, for amounts of R$ 584 million and R$ 1 billion respectively, in 2016. However, there was a rectification of the information.

In the new replies, considered definitive, “a line for the transfer of credit to suppliers” was not envisaged. A KPM extension, who controlled the company at the time, even questioned the Americans about the discrepancy in information. The retailer’s top management said, according to the confidential report, that the second version, which did not include the credit line, was correct.

The report of the judicial administrators shows that the operations at drawn risk began in 2015, with about 3.45 billion reais and an increasing balance to reach 15.9 billion reais in December 2022, according to information provided by Americanas to the Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM).

The minutes also inform that all banks listed by Americanas received the balance circular letter (information for auditing accounts) and sent their responses to the auditors in the period in which the PriceWaterHouseCoopers (PWC) verified the company, as of October 2019.

In their responses, no financial institution reported the existence of any risk amounts drawn, as recorded by PwC: including withdrawn”. Therefore, “from the information provided by the company’s creditors, no operations emerged that were not reflected in the financial statements prepared by the company’s management”.

‘All the necessary information’

The audit also reported that it only became aware of Americanas’ accounting inconsistencies on January 9, 2023, just two days before the material event that triggered the crisis, in a meeting with the responsible partner.

The polarization between the audit and the client is sedimented by the information, given by PwC, according to which, until January 9, Americanas omitted the existence of the financing modality: “. Furthermore, in the context of the verification work performed, PwC received a copy of the company’s agreements with financial institutions relating to these transactions”.

PwC also pointed out that although the elevator was omitted, Americanas management certified that it had provided “all information necessary for the audit work.” Company leadership also ensured that all transactions were recorded and reflected in the financial statements, PwC said.

Finally, according to the judicial administrators’ report, the audit revealed that it was unaware of any questions from regulatory or supervisory bodies related to the Americanas audit, prior to the material fact.

location of the banks

“Itaú Unibanco clarifies that the information that the circular letter referring to the year 2016, sent on 13/01/2017, has been replaced is false. The reality of the facts is that the letter sent contained all the usual information, including related to the risk statement. However, after receiving the letter, Americanas asked the bank to replace it, excluding the information related to the risk statement, which was promptly denied,” says Itaú.

According to the bank, in response to the denial, on January 31, 2017, Americanas management requested, in writing, that it submit details of certain transactions listed in the original letter. The request did not include information on the risk drawn, according to the bank.

Itaú also explains that, in response to this second request, the bank sent an additional document, referring to the original letter, which was also attached to the second report, so that all the information requested since the beginning of the process would be available for the audit .

“Therefore, in yet another act demonstrating bad faith in the conduct of the lawsuit, the company and its attorneys seek to create untruthful accounts that seek to remove the sole and exclusive responsibility of its management, including the board and the council, for the preparation and correctness of the balance sheet”, concludes Itaú.

As for Santander, the accusations by Americanas contained in the trustee’s report are an “attempt to divert the real responsibilities of the company’s directors and board of directors”.

In a note sent to Stadium, the bank says the circular letters, cited by the report, are just one of many sources of audits for the firm. “Any accounting mismatches or fraud are the sole responsibility of the company, as well as its directors, board of directors and internal control bodies,” the bank says.

Santander also adds that it has always fully reported all balances of the company’s operations in the Central Risk System, maintained by the Central Bank, which could also be a source of control. Americanas did not comment until the conclusion of this report./ CYNTHIA DECLOEDT and MATHEUS PIOVESANA COLLABORATED

Source: Terra

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