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Retail access trumps corporate in the new Brazil

Nubank’s acquisition of Easynvest this month is just one example of how the financial market in Brazil is developing at a dizzying speed.

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Nubank’s Easynvest deal, adding 1.5 million clients to the digital bank’s 30 million customers, is an important development in the market, but there have been many others in recent weeks.

Bradesco has launched a payments app called Bitz, BTG Pactual has announced plans to launch a retail bank in 2021 and BR Partners is nearing its IPO. The digital bank Banco Inter followed up its recent equity deal by announcing it now has seven million customers.

Meanwhile, the central bank has given the green light for the investment banking tie-up between Banco do Brasil and UBS.

There is also a fast-paced game of musical chairs of teams and senior bankers within private banking. Banco do Brasil appointed Andre Brandao, head of global banking and markets for the Americas at HSBC in the country, as its new CEO.

Interest rates

In 2010, when I arrived in Brazil, it was much simpler. With high interest rates, the big banks were untouchable. Corporates needed to keep them close for that crucial credit access and investors simply bought simple treasury products – sometimes corporate risk.

The big banks essentially sat in the middle of the financial system, capturing the corporates and the investors – private banks, asset managers.

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