Photographer: With special thanks to Danilo Siqueira for allowing me to use his photo. You can view more of his photos via this link:
Banco Bradesco S.A.
Banco Bradesco began life in 1943 when the Banco Brasileiro do Descontos S.A. was established in the city of Marília in interior São Paulo (the state). Unlike other banks that served big businesses and the wealthy, the new bank focused on providing banking services to small businesses, government workers and small landowners. The bank transferred its main office to Metropolitan São Paulo (the city) in 1946. By the 1950s, Banco Brasileiro do Descontos had already became the largest private-sector bank in Brazil. In 1962, the bank was said to be the first company in Latin America to install a mainframe computer, making available to its clients the daily account updates.
During the 1970s, Brazil experienced a period of strong economic growth. More than a dozen rivals were acquired by Banco Brasileiro do Descontos and its network grew to 1,000 branches nationwide during the decade. In the 1980s, the bank began to offer pension and insurance products.
In 1998, the many different brands and subsidiary banks under the parent company were consolidated under the new name Banco Bradesco S.A.
- In 1997, Bradesco acquired Banco de Crédito Nacional S.A. (BCN) for BRL 1.142-billion. BCN had 120 branches and more than 6,000 employees serving 500,000 clients.
- In 2000, Bradesco bought Banco BoaVista Interatlântico S.A. for BRL 946-million. BoaVista had 86 branches and more than 2,300 employees.
- In 2002, Bradesco bought Banco Mercantil de São Paulo S.A. for BRL 1.572-billion. Mercantil de São Paulo served more than 700,000 accounts through its 220 branches and 5,200 employees.
- Also in 2002, Bradesco bought Sao Paulo-based Cidade for BRL 366-million (USD $152-million). Cidade operated 24 branches.
- In 2003, Bradesco took over Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria Brasil, S.A. for BRL 2.63-billion. BBVA Brasil had 439 branches serving 130,000 accounts.
- Also in 2003, Bradesco bought Banco ZOGBI S.A. for BRL 650-million (USD $226-million). ZOGBI provided consumer finance services through 67 offices.
- In 2005, Bradesco acquired Banco do Estado do Ceará S.A. (BEC) in an auction for BRL 700-million. BEC had a network of 70 branches. BEC was nationalized (federalized) in 1999 by the Brazilian government.
- In 2006, Bradesco purchased American Express's Brazilian credit card operations for BRL 1.04-billion (USD $490-million).
- In 2007, Bradesco bought Banco BMC for BRL 800-million (USD $376-million). Banco BMC specialized in short-term payroll loans i.e. loans that were backed by the borrower's payroll deductions.
- In 2008, Bradesco bought Brazil’s largest broker Agora for BRL 830-million (USD $494-million).
- In 2009, Bradesco bought Banco ibi, the consumer finance unit of nationwide clothing retail chain C&A, for BRL 1.4-billion (USD $720-million). Banco ibi had 30-million credit card customers. As part of the purchase agreement, Bradesco would offer financial services through C&A’s 300 stores in the next 20 years.
- In August 2015, Bradesco agreed to acquire HSBC Bank Brasil for BRL 17.6-billion (USD $5.19-billion) from HSBC Holdings. HSBC Bank Brasil had 5-million clients, 851 branches and over 4,700 ATMs, and provided banking, insurance and asset management services.