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 margins.
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 summer.
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 lenders.
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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