Latin America's best bank 2019: Santander Brasil
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Latin America's best bank 2019: Santander Brasil

Awards for Excellence 2019

Despite the headwinds for region’s banks, there were some outstanding performances that demonstrate what can be achieved without macroeconomic support. The best example of this was Santander Brasil, Latin America’s best bank.

The success of Santander Brasil’s chief executive, Sergio Rial, since joining in September 2015 has been such that, following Santander’s abortive attempt to hire UBS’s Andrea Orcel to be its group chief executive at the beginning of this year, there were strong rumours that the bank would appoint Rial to the position. 

That it didn’t is probably more in recognition that it would just be creating a very large Rial-shaped hole in what it is now its most profitable market – generating 26% of Santander’s total earnings. So instead Santander created for him the position of chief executive of all of its south American business.

Sergio Rial

Santander Brasil’s results in 2018 were truly historic. The bank broke the stranglehold that Itaú and Bradesco have held over the country’s privately owned banking sector.