There is cause for optimism for Brazil’s banking
sector — despite the challenges it faces on several
fronts. A slump in economic growth, a decline in average
interest rates and a slowdown in a decade-long cycle of credit
expansion have together meant higher credit costs and narrower
Bank of the Year, Bank of the Year Brazil & Investment Bank of the Year, Brazil: Itaú-Unibanco
A conservative banking strategy that has nevertheless sought out growth opportunities is paying off for Itaú, Latin America’s largest bank
Next year’s presidential elections also spell
uncertainty, while there is concern over disruption —
following protests that erupted across the country in 2013
— when the country hosts the World Cup next
But optimism for the banking sector is based on what many
analysts see as prudent planning and a conservative approach to
doing business — operating principles that have
largely paid off for the country’s main private
Profitability is unlikely to remain at past levels, Fitch
Ratings says. Bradesco and Itaú-Unibanco, the largest
non-government lenders in Brazil, have coped admirably with
changing circumstances and performed well compared to their
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