Banco Bradesco Needs To Close Bank Branches And Expand Online Services In 2018, According to Chairman Luiz Carlos Trabuco
Brazilian banks know how to make money. Brazilian bankers learn how to use insurance, assets under management, and an aversion to lending money to keep shareholders happy. But the banking business in Brazil is changing. Banking at a local Bradesco branch isn’t cool anymore for the Brazilian Millennials who want to use their smartphones to do their banking.
The big private banks in Brazil have a lot of bank branches around the country, and Bradesco is no exception. At last count, Bradesco is operating more than 4,700 local branches in Brazil and more than 12,000 ATM locations.
According to new Chairman Luiz Carlos Trabuco Cappi that’s too many branches and too many ATMs. Cappi wants to streamline the bank’s branch operations. The new Chairman of the Board wants to close more branches in 2018, and the new CEO Octavio de Lazari agrees with Cappi. Agreeing with Cappi is not unusual for Lazari. Lazari and Cappi have a great banking track record when it comes to making important decisions. When Cappi was CEO of the bank, Lazari was the president of Seguros, Bradesco’s insurance arm. And when Lazari was president of Seguros, he was responsible for contributing more than 30 percent of the bank’s net income. Lazari is no stranger when it comes to understanding how to make money.
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Cappi joined the bank as a trainee in 1969. Lazari joined the bank in 1978. Both men know what former Chairman of the Board Lázaro de Mello Brandão wanted to accomplish before he retired. Even though Brandão’s days as Chairman of the bank are over, he still plays an important role, according to Cappi and Lazari. Brandão is a walking history book. Lázaro was around when founder Amador Aguiar decided to turn his bank into the largest private bank in Brazil. Lázaro was an important ingredient in that growth. Cappi and Lazari are following in Brandão’s footsteps, but those footsteps are online footsteps now.
Opening new bank branches is not a priority, according to Cappi. Expanding online services is the 2018 mission. But in order to achieve that expansion, Cappi and Lazari will have to close more branches and expand online products and services at the same time. That might cost more than the bank’s budget, and that concerns some international investors. International investors who don’t know how banking works in Brazil always have trepidations until they realize what Cappi and his executive team are capable of accomplishing.
Cappi and Lazari are not pushing to be the largest private bank in the country. That distinction is already in the Bradesco record books. Cappi wants to be the best online bank in the country. And he proved that when Bradesco opened Next, the bank’s digital banking service last year. Shareholders still have confidence in Cappi, and Lazari presence as CEO reinforces that confidence. Plus, the bank’s executive team is the best in the Brazilian banking business, according to Cappi. And Mr. Lazari agrees with that observation.