National Housing Bank (BNH)

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National Housing Bank (BNH)

Created as part of the financial market reforms of Humberto Castelo Branco's administration by Law 4380 of 1964, the National Housing Bank (Banco Nacional de Habitação—BNH) served as the center of the Housing Finance System (Sistema Financeira de Habitação—SFH). The reformers designed the system to create a supply of mortgage funds for lower-income groups, to be financed through the creation of inflation-indexed passbook savings deposits. The BNH supervised the activities of three sets of institutions: the state and federal savings banks (caixas econômicas estaduais e federais), the housing credit societies (sociedades de crédito imobilário), and savings and loan associations (associações de poupança e emprestimo). Like many thrift systems throughout the world, the Brazilian thrift system has suffered from significant nonperforming loans and difficulties competing with other parts of the financial system. Any improvement in the Brazilian government's fiscal situation and the efficiency of the financial system was anticipated to depend upon the improvement in financial status of these institutions. As a first step to this adjustment, the government dissolved the BNH in the reforms of 1987–1989.

See alsoBanking: Since 1990; Economic Development.


John H. Welch, Capital Markets in the Development Process: The Case of Brazil (1993).

Additional Bibliography

Banco Nacional da Habitação. Plano nacional da habitação popular. Rio de Janeiro: Secretaria de Divulgação do BNH, 1973.

Faro, Clóvis de. Vinte anos de BNH: A evolução dos planos básicos de financiamento para aquisição da casa própria do Banco Nacional de Habitação, 1964–84. Niterói: Editora Universitária, Universidade Federal Fluminense; Rio de Janeiro, RJ: Editora da Fundação Getulio Vargas, 1992.

                                     John H. Welch

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National Housing Bank (BNH)

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National Housing Bank (BNH)