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Banking

Latin America’s quiet private banking revolution

Many banks have amassed 30%-plus growth in AUM in the past year.


With equity markets around Latin America – and in the powerhouse of Brazil in particular – experiencing a quiet 2011 you could be forgiven for assuming the growth in AUM in private banking in the region will have slowed.


Starved of liquidity events to drive wealth creation – and the subsequent M&A consolidation that usually accompanies healthy equity capital market issuance – have more sober growth rates returned to the market after a strong 2010?


Not a bit of it – bankers across Latin America talk of a quiet private banking revolution, with many banks amassing 30%-plus growth in AUM in the past year.


All banks Euromoney has spoken to for its annual look at the industry (to be published in the February issue) report at double-digit growth at the very least. 



“We believe the industry in Brazil will reach $1 trillion by 2016 compared to $430 billion today. We are very confident with that, we are preparing ourselves for this growth,” says one. This projection is not, he says, necessarily dependent on a recovery in the country’s equity market – although it will of course help. “Most of the companies here are privately owned and so owners are taking dividends, profits are still good and the wealth generation just keeps going.”



BAML is one bank that won’t be taking advantage of this growth, having announced its decision to withdraw from the private banking market in Brazil less than a year after launching. But the rest continue to hire and Portuguese and Spanish lessons are becoming popular. 




“The kinds of numbers we are reporting – no-one has seen anything like it. People from all over the global banking division are expressing interest in coming here to work. It is a great opportunity.”


- Euromoney Skew Blog


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