Prudent but Profitable

Nov 1, 2011

Bradesco’s balanced approach to banking has left it well prepared to weather any downturns as it builds market share in key sectors. Organic growth is a top priority

by Ben Miller
It’s always been a close race between the top three banks in Brazil. But Bradesco has won particularly high points at a time when the country’s banks are contending with government macro-prudential measures, inflation worries, a potential credit bubble and now a slowdown in economic growth.

Despite the somewhat uncertain outlook, the Brazilian banking giant has been able to maintain strong profitability ratios, a diversified portfolio base and healthy reserve cushions.

“Banks in Brazil and Bradesco in particular go into the slowdown with comfortable levels of loan loss reserves, are well-capitalized and with margins capable of absorbing big losses,” Peter Shaw, managing director at Fitch Ratings for financial institutions, says.

With 689.3 billion reais in assets as of June 30, Bradesco may not be the largest bank in the system, with competitors Itaú and state-owned Banco do Brasil boasting 793 billion...

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