Credit-card interest rates in Brazil climbed above 300 percent last month, O Estado de Sao Paulo newspaper said Tuesday, citing a report from the Proteste consumer association.

Brazilian rates are many times higher than those in other Latin American countries such as Peru, where the median rate is 55 percent; Chile, 54.24 percent; Argentina, 50 percent; and Colombia, 29.23 percent, the study noted.

The Brazilian central bank's benchmark interest rate has declined steadily in 2012 and now stands at 8 percent, yet rates on credit cards have climbed inexorably from the January median of 237.9 percent, according to the report.

"There is no economic explanation for this," one of the report's authors, economist Hessia Costilla, told o Estado.

Proteste analyzed the rates Brazil's 13 largest banks charge on credit card debt. EFE