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UPDATE 1-Brazil's Esteves formally rejoins controlling group of BTG Pactual

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(Updates with context, background)

RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO, Dec 30 (Reuters) - André Esteves, a Brazilian banking executive who was briefly jailed on suspicion of corruption, but whose name was later cleared, has obtained all regulatory approvals to formally re-enter Banco BTG Pactual SA's controlling group, the bank said in a Thursday securities filing.

The so-called G7 is a group of five partners that holds a majority stake in BTG but is different from the board.

Reuters reported in July that Esteves was closing in on a comeback, as he was awaiting legal regulatory approval from the European Central Bank to regain his 61.55% voting stake in the G7. Brazil's central bank had already allowed him to return to the G7 group two years ago.

Esteves left BTG's controlling group after he was arrested in 2015, accused by former congressman Delcidio Amaral of offering to pay off witnesses in the "Car Wash" corruption probe to prevent them from striking plea bargain deals.

BTG faced a liquidity crunch, was forced to shed assets and to take a loan from Brazil's deposit insurance body.

Esteves first returned to the bank as a senior partner in April 2016, but without a formal management role. Still, he has taken some of the bank's main decisions, as Reuters reported earlier, including its recent push into retail banking.

(Reporting by Carolina Mandl, in Sao Paulo, and Gram Slattery, in Rio de Janeiro Editing by Richard Pullin)

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