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In brief

On 21 January 2021, the Office of the National Superintendent for Banking Sector Institutions (SUDEBAN) issued a notice that prohibits banking institutions from carrying out credit operations using foreign currency, without prior authorization from SUDEBAN and the Central Bank of Venezuela (“BCV”) (“Notice“).1

The Notice refers to the definition of credit established in the Banking Sector Institutions Law2  as operations carried out solely in the national currency, including financial leasing, invoice discounting, letters of credit, discounts, advances, reports, guarantees and any other financing modalities or active operations carried out by banking institutions.

The Notice prohibits banking institutions from granting credits in foreign currency with resources obtained from funds deposited by the public in foreign currency or any other modality. If banking institutions wish to carry out credit operations in foreign currency, they need the express authorization of the BCV and SUDEBAN to do so.

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1 Notice No. SIB-DSB-CJ-OD-00317 of 21 January 2021, issued by the Superintendence of Banking Sector Institutions (SUDEBAN).

2 Decree with Rank, Value and Force of Law of Banking Sector Institutions, Article 58 (1): “For the purposes of this decree with rank, value and force of law, these concepts will be understood as follows:

1. Credit: all operations in the national currency that comprise financial leasing, invoice discounts, credit letters, discounts, advances, reports, guarantees and any other financing modality or active operations made by banking institutions.”


José P. Barnola Jr. joined Baker McKenzie in 1996 and became partner in 2003. He is a senior member of the Venezuela tax practice group and counsel of the tax practice group in Mexico, and has extensive experience in tax advice, transactional tax and tax litigation. José has authored over 30 legal articles on several legal and tax issues published in Venezuela, United States, Canada and México (see list in and has over 18 years' experience as tax law professor. He has written and spoken on investment protection and tax planning, cross-border distribution activities, corporate reorganizations, VAT, tax litigation, employee taxation and other hot topics of the Venezuelan tax system. Since 2018, José has been based in Baker McKenzie's office in Mexico City on a special temporary assignment, where he provides complex planning and transactional investment protection and tax advice, especially for the oil and gas industry, as well as tax litigation. José is the Latin America representative in Baker McKenzie's Tax Dispute Resolution Global Steering Committee, in charge of designing and implementing the global, regional and local strategic plans of the Firm.


Jesús Dávila joined Baker McKenzie in 2002 and became partner in 2009. He is recognized as a leading lawyer in Venezuela by Chambers Latin America and IFLR1000. Jesus advises domestic and multinational companies on the full scope of corporate transactions, including mergers, acquisitions, takeovers, joint ventures and a variety of other corporate work. He has a strong track record providing insightful advice to companies on matters of antitrust, foreign investment and technology transfer, IT/Communications, and trade and commerce. Jesus has been a professor in various renowned universities in Venezuela.


Maria Celis joined the Firm in 1997 and became partner in 2008. She has 20 years of experience working in corporate, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, telecommunication, real estate and anti-trust matters, and works with important national and international companies on corporate reorganization and M&A matters. She heads the Venezuela office Diversity & Inclusion committee and she was awarded as a highly commended lawyer in the category “Gender Diversity Lawyer of the Year Venezuela” by Chambers and Partners in the Latin America Awards 2019. In addition, she is member of the Sustainability committee of the Venezuela office and represents Venezuela in the Real Estate and M&A Latin America Steering Committees.


Marie Roschelle Quintero is a Mid-Level Associate in Baker McKenzie's Caracas office.