Banco do Brasil, a state-controlled bank, featured on its intranet systems a photo with people making finger guns — a hand gesture heavily associated with the Jair Bolsonaro campaign.
The bank is a mixed-capital company — that is, its shares are split between the federal government and private investors. Its code of ethics prohibits partisan demonstrations using the institution’s facilities, communication channels, or any sort of infrastructure — such as its intranet systems.
The photo illustrated an article about agricultural loans that was published on Monday night and remained on air until Tuesday morning. The image was removed after several employees complained via internal channels.
Multiple Banco do Brasil employees who saw the article spoke to The Brazilian Report under condition of anonymity. They said they felt embarrassed by the post, as it portrays a Bolsonarista gesture in the middle of the runoff election campaign.
Bank of Brazil awning The Brazilian Report that the “article in the bank’s internal communication aimed to highlight the business relationship between agribusiness customers and frontline service employees.” Agricultural producers are one of Mr. Bolsonaro’s key constituencies.
“Early in the morning, with the perception that the low-quality photo did not portray the post’s objective, it was replaced by a photo more suitable for the theme,” the bank said in a statement.
This is not the only seemingly improper tie between the bank and the president’s re-election campaign. Banco do Brasil reportedly created a direct line with the Jair Bolsonaro campaign committee to help it process donations in a more efficient way.