Awards for Excellence 2008: Portugal
Best bank: Santander Totta
Santander Totta is truly in a class of its own in Portugal. In a year when most of its biggest rivals have attracted headlines for all the wrong reasons – losses, intrigue, scandal – Totta has been quietly gaining ground.
Growth in the bank’s domestic net interest income of 12.2% at a time of slowing economic performance and rising uncertainty outclasses the 4.8% of its only serious rival this year, Banco Espírito Santo, the overall performance of which is also flattered by its foreign operations in Brazil and Angola.
While Espírito Santo has been nimble at exploiting the troubles at Millennium BCP and BPI to gain market share in a number of areas, Totta has done so too but with far greater efficiency and discipline.