The Central Bank of Brazil was established in May 1964. Acting as the central monetary authority in the country, it oversees the operations of banks in Brazil. The central bank performs several other functions, including:
Helping the Ministry of Finance make important decisions
Governing the finances and economy of the country
Controlling foreign trade operations
Acting on behalf of the National Treasury
According to Moody’s (2021), the outlook for the Brazilian banking system has changed from negative to stable, in light of an improving operating environment over the next 12-18 months.
For anyone considering a banking career in Brazil, this list of top banks in Brazil is a helpful guide on where to start. It is important to note that many multinational banks have offices in Brazil and provide valuable experience in the country. To learn more, see our list of financial institutions.
The Top Banks in Brazil:
Banco do Brasil
Founded in 1808, Banco do Brasil is one of the oldest, and largest, banks in Brazil. It provides banking products and services to individuals, companies, and the government. The bank is headquartered in Brasilia and employs around a million individuals. It operates 5,440 branches and 66,500 service points and serves around 64 million customers.
Revenue: BRL 58.5 billion (2020)
Net income: BRL -12.7 billion (2020)
Total assets: BRL 508.1 billion (2020)
Banco de Bradesco was established in 1843. It provides a wide range of banking products and services to individuals, companies, and institutions. With around 78,000 employees, the bank operates out of Osasco. It manages a network of 5,314 retail and prime branches, and 3,821 service points, and serves around 73 million customers.
Revenue: BRL 62.6 billion (2020)
Net income: BRL 15.8 billion (2020)
Total assets: BRL 1.61 trillion (2020)
Incorporated in 1955, Banco Safra is part of the Safra Group of banks and financial institutions. It provides commercial banking services such as real estate loans, foreign exchange, underwriting, and leasing services. Based in Sao Paulo, it employs around 9,300 employees.
Banco Safra also offers services related to asset management, insurance operations, stock brokerage, and treasury operations.
Revenue: BRL 6.24 billion (2020)
Net income: BRL 2.0 billion (2020)
Total assets: BRL 248.1 billion (2020)
Banco Santander Brasil
Banco Santander Brasil was founded in 1985. The bank operates through Commercial and Global Wholesale banking segments. With around 50,000 employees, it is headquartered in Sao Paulo. It serves around 34.3 million customers and operates approximately 3,700 branches and service centers.
Revenue: BRL 31.1 billion (2020)
Net income: BRL 13.4 billion (2020)
Total assets: BRL 944.8 billion (2020)
Established in 1988 as a securities dealer, Banco Votorantim started operating as one of the banks in Brazil in 1991. It operates as a subsidiary of Banco do Brasil S.A. and Votorantim Finanças S.A. and manages nine service points.
The bank provides wholesale banking, consumer finance, and wealth management services. Employing 4,000 individuals, it is based in Sau Paulo.
Revenue: BRL 5.4 billion (2020)
Net income: BRL 1.1 billion (2020)
Total assets: BRL 121.0 billion (2020)
Caixa Economica Federal
Caixa Economica Federal, another of the older banks in Brazil, was founded in 1861. The bank provides banking products and services to individuals, companies, and institutions in Brazil. Headquartered in Brasilia, it has around 109,333 employees.
The bank operates 4,200 retail and prime branches, has 60,000 service points, and serves around 87 million customers.
Revenue: BRL 56.5 billion (2020)
Net income: BRL 13.2 billion (2020)
Total assets: BRL 144 trillion (2020)
Itau Unibanco operates as a wholesale investment and institutional treasury bank. Headquartered in Sau Paulo, the bank also maintains a presence in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, England, Luxembourg, Portugal, USA, Japan, China. and the United Arab Emirates.
The bank was founded in 1945 and was created as a result of the merger between two former banks in Brazil – Banco Itau and Unibanco. It employs around 97,000 staff in Brazil and manages 4,981 branches and client service branches, as well as 46,965 ATMs.
Revenue: BRL 74.2 billion (2020)
Net income: BRL 18.9 billion (2020)
Total assets: BRL 2.02 trillion (2020)
The Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES)
Established in 1952, the Brazilian Development Bank is one of the main providers of long-term financing in the country. It provides banking products and services to individuals, companies, and institutions. The bank operates out of Osasco and employs around 3,500 staff.
Revenue: USD 1.8 billion (2020)
Net income: USD 0.8 billion (2020)
Total assets: USD 72.6 billion (2020)
Headquartered in Sau Paulo, BTG Pactual is a subsidiary of BTG Pactual Holding S.A. Established in 1983, the bank provides financial products and services in Brazil and other countries.
In 2016, the bank posted total assets of US$33.61 billion and a net profit of US$1.03 billion.
Founded in 1928, Banrisul is the largest bank in southern Brazil. It provides financial products and services such as personal loans, real estate loans, and long-term financing, using its own funds and funding from government institutions.
The bank is based out of Porto Alegre and employs around 11,000 individuals. It manages a network of more than 1,312 service points, over 473 agencies, and 593 ATMs.
This has been a guide to the top banks in Brazil. For anyone looking for a career in banking, this list is a great place to start your networking. You may also want to consider CFI’s Financial Modeling and Valuation Analyst (FMVA)® designation to help boost your career!
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