The Brazilian banking system consists of 174 banks including 153 commercial banks, 12 investment banks, 4 development banks and 4 exchange banks. In total the banks operate over 30,000 branches and about 170,000 ATMs across the country. The four largest Brazilian banks control more than 70% of banking sector. Banco Santander is the largest foreign bank operating in Brazil. The number of debit cards and credit cards in circulation equals approximately 108 million and 82 million, respectively. Banco Central do Brasil, founded on December 31, 1964, is the central bank of the country. Following is a list of the largest and best banks in Brazil ranked by total assets.
Itaú Unibanco Holding
Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. is the largest bank in Brazil and Latin America in terms of assets, market capitalization and number of employees. It operates through more than 4,500 physical branches and 48,000 ATMs with international presence in Chile, Panama, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, France, USA, Cayman, Bahamas, Canada, UK, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Portugal, Japan and UAE. The company offers retail and wholesale banking services including deposits, personal and auto loans, credit cards, insurance, SME banking, investment and private banking and wealth management.
Banco do Brasil
Banco do Brasil (BB) is the second largest and the oldest bank in Brazil. It provides retail, corporate and government banking services including savings accounts, mortgages, consumer and rural loans, credit and debit cards, foreign exchange, life, health and auto insurance, fund management, investment banking and much more. BB maintains branches and ATMs in 3,550 Brazilian municipalities as well as has international presence in 20 countries. App BB reaches nearly 17 million users. The Bank’s stock is traded on the Brazil Stock Exchange (B3 S.A. Brasil Bolsa Balcao) and ADRs on over-the-counter (OTC) market with a market capitalization of US$31 billion at November 27, 2019.
Founded in 1943, Banco Bradesco is the third largest bank is Brazil with 28 million current accounts, 71.7 million customers, over 4,700 retail and prime branches, 3,899 service points, 38,708 Bradesco Expresso points, and 56,849 ATMs (including own network and supplementary networks). It also has offices in New York, Grand Cayman and London, and subsidiaries in Argentina, Luxembourg, the United States, the UK, Grand Cayman and Mexico. As of March 31, 2019, Banco Bradesco recorded US$354 trillion in total assets and US$562 billion in assets under management.
Caixa Economica Federal
Caixa Economica Federal (CAIXA), founded in 1861, is the fourth largest bank in Brazil by assets and the largest by number of customers, savings and home loans. With 92 million clients, it operates through 4,200 branches, 13,000 lottery outlets, 10,500 3rd party sales outlets, and 29,000 ATMs in self-service rooms and gas stations in 5,500 municipalities and thousands of Brazilian towns. It also has representative offices in the United States, Venezuela and Japan. The Bank is fully controlled by the Federal Government. As of December 31, 2018, CAIXA had total assets of BRL1.3 trillion (US$335 billion).
Brazilian Development Bank
Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES), established in 1952, is a state-owned financial institution controlled by the Federal Government. It is the main financing agent for development in Brazil and provides financial support mechanisms to companies of any size. As of December 31, 2018, it had total assets of approximately US$207 billion.
Banco Santander Brasil
Banco Santander Brasil is the largest foreign bank in the country with about 10 million customers, 48,230 employees, over 3,700 branches and service centers, and 13,680 own ATMs. As of March 31, 2019, Santander Brasil reported total assets of US$205 billion, loan portfolio of US$79 billion and assets under management (AUM) of US$77 billion.
Banco Safra S.A., a subsidiary of Safra Group, is the seventh largest bank in Brazil. With over 7,000 employees and 130 branches, Safra is a universal bank providing a wide range of products and services including private and investment banking, insurance and retirement products, real estate loans, leasing services, asset management, brokerage and distribution of securities, treasury services, foreign exchange and more. The Bank has the best possible credit ratings among the financial institutions in Brazil. As of June 30, 2018, Banco Safra had total assets of BRL174.374 billion and assets under management of BRL231.8 billion.
Founded in 1983 by Andre Jacurski, Luiz Cezar Fernandes and Paulo Guedes, Banco BTG Pactual S.A. is a Brazilian investment bank and asset manager with total funds under management and administration of US$54 billion, wealth under management of US$31 billion and revenue of US$1.4 billion in 2018. The Bank is headquartered in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Roberto Balls Sallouti is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BTG Pactual.
Banco Votorantim S.A. is the ninth largest bank in Brazil in terms of total assets. It provides a broad array of products and services in the retail, wholesale, wealth management, treasury, and brokerage areas. As of March 31, 2019, it reported total assets of US$23.8 billion and loan operations of US$5.5 billion. The Bank is owned by Votorantim Group (Votorantim S.A.) and Banco do Brasil.
Banrisul (Banco do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul S.A.) is one of the top 10 banks in Brazil by assets, deposits and number of branches. With 10,760 employees, 630 standard and electronic service stations, and 518 branches, it is the largest bank of the Southern Brazil operating mainly in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. As of December 31, 2018, Banrisul had total assets of US$20 billion, total credit portfolio of US$8.8 billion and shareholders’ equity of US$1.9 billion.
Citibank Brasil (or Banco Citibank SA) provides corporate and investment banking, treasury and trade solutions, market and securities services, SME banking as well as services for affluent individuals and families including cash management, loans, wealth management and more. As of December 31, 2018, Citibank Brasil recorded total assets of US$18.5 billion according to BR GAAP or US$16 billion according to IFRS.
Top 10 Brazilian Banks by Assets
Here is a list of the 10 largest banks in Brazil in terms of total assets.
|Rank||Bank||Total assets, US$b (12/2018)|
|2||Banco do Brasil||364.923|
|4||Caixa Economica Federal||325.502|