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Late in the day, the Supreme Court of Justice (TSJ) ruled against banks with respect to the calculation of interest regarding a separate lawsuit that may require the banks to pay frozen deposits dating back to past economic

plans. There are several things to point out, in our view:

 

(1) the recent ruling -- albeit negative -- is only with

respect to the interest calculation and not related to whether the banks actually have to pay (there is no

timeframe for this ruling from the TSJ);

 

(2) the banks may still appeal this ruling;

 

(3) the actual amount due from banks is still unknown so there is still uncertainty; and

 

(4) public banks would be the most affected.

 

Overall, we still think it is unlikely that the final ruling will be something that could cripple the financial system.

Nonetheless, given that public banks are the most affected, this could ultimately be an additional fiscal cost the

government will absorb, thus increasing gross debt levels. The market impact was relatively mooted following the announcement, and in our view, the greatest impact if any on rates is a tightening in the front end, as the hit

the hit to the banks will likely impact lending growth and over economic growth. The additional debt burden for

the government, however, may cause long-end rates to widen.

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