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Latin America’s best bank 2021: Nubank

When David Vélez, co-founder and chief executive of Nubank, Latin America’s best bank, spoke to Euromoney in January 2021 he acknowledged just how powerful an engine the pandemic had been for the growth in digital banking. The Covid-19 lockdown led to such accelerated growth in new customer segments that the bank is seeing numbers that would have taken months or years to achieve in normal times.

For example, online credit card payments have soared, with the bank hitting a level in April 2020 that it had projected to reach in 2023. Its total loan portfolio grew 49% to $95 billion in 2020, where elsewhere banks saw customers paying down card debt. In total, Nubank grew its customer base from 20 million in 2019 to 36 million by the end of 2020. Deposits increased 2.6 times to $29 billion. Nubank is also a leader in the new digital payment system PIX launched by the Brazilian central bank.

The bank now has a market valuation of $30 billion, up from $25 billion in five months, after a Berkshire Hathaway-led investment round of $750 million.

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