Domestic Bank in an Emerging Market: Banco Bradesco
Banco Bradesco seems to have mastered the art of retail banking. It has 1,900 branches throughout Brazil in 1,285 cities and manages 5.4 million current accounts and 14.6 million savings accounts.
The bank has invested heavily in technology to improve its customer service but it is by no means solely a domestic bank. It has an extensive correspondent network and a representative office in London. It also has branches in New York and Grand Cayman and is continually expanding its presence in foreign trade.
Banco Bradesco is the number one bank in Brazil for most activities, including investment fund management, credit operations and share issuance. In 1996 its profits were the largest ever for a private Brazilian company. Its profit of R824.5 million ($768.4 million) represented a healthy 15.1% return on net equity.
Bradesco has been keen to diversify its business. Bradesco Seguros, the largest Brazilian insurer in terms of profitability and stockholder equity, has been highly profitable. Bradesco's private pensions business is also in a league of its own. There are 5,656 companies and 279,470 individuals participating in its retirement and pension plans and it has reserves of R1.9