Brazil enters new growth cycle

At the beginning of 2011, the Bradesco brand was considered the most valuable among Brazilian in a survey conducted by consulting firm Brand Finance, and the sixth most valuable among banks worldwide. This is just one of many international acknowledgments Bradesco has received over the years. Building on a 68-year tradition of excellent results – the bank began operations in 1943 – Bradesco posted record net of more than $6bn in 2010, 25.1 percent up on 2009. The bank closed the year with total assets of $382.6bn, 26 percent more than in 2009, while total assets under management moved up by 24.3 percent to $523.7bn. Bradesco's preferred shares appreciated by 12 percent in the year, versus only 1 percent for the Ibovespa, which comprises the most traded shares on the São Paulo Stock Exchange. Bradesco's shares are also traded on the NYSE, in New York, and the Latibex, in Madrid, where they are renowned for their high liquidity.

These numbers are the result of the successful strategies adopted by Bradesco at the beginning of the last decade, when it began rapidly expanding its service network, bringing its products and services to millions of people hitherto deprived of the banking experience. Bradesco became the first financial institution to be present in all of the country's 5,565 municipalities and ended last year with an estimated 60 million customers; in other words, a third of Brazil's population is a Bradesco customer. 

The development of the country, and the accompanying increase in jobs and income, has fueled demand for financial services, and the bank is fully prepared to meet this demand, no matter how remote the region. One example is the country's first floating bank branch, on the riverboat Voyager III, which covers the 1,600km between Manaus and Tabatinga, in the state of Amazonas, twice a month. There are 11 municipalities and 50 riverside communities located along the route, whose total population of 250,000 had access to banking services for the first time.

Bradesco was also the first bank to expand its loan portfolio in anticipation of demand for loans generated by economic growth, the current upward social mobility process and the creation of a strong domestic market. In December 2010, its loan portfolio totaled $176.2bn, 23 percent more than the same period in 2009.  The portfolio is of the highest quality, protected by strict risk evaluation and monitoring processes that are substantially more rigorous than the norm in the financial system. In December, the delinquency rate on loans overdue for more than 90 days stood at 3.6 percent, recording its fifth consecutive quarterly decline.

Bradesco ended 2010 with more than 44,000 service points, 3,604 of which branches and 32,307 correspondent banks, plus 32,000 ATMs. Abroad, the bank maintains branches in New York, Grand Cayman and Nassau, and subsidiaries in Buenos Aires, Luxemburg, Tokyo, Grand Cayman, Hong Kong, New York, London and Mexico.  
Bradesco BBI, an investment bank, has an exceptionally strong presence in the capital market. Last year, it was the lead manager for the primary offering of Petrobras common and preferred shares, the world's largest ever stock offering, which raised $72bn, and took part in more than 80 percent of all issues registered with the Brazilian Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM). Bradesco Seguros e Previdência, one of the largest insurance companies in Latin America, posted annual revenue of $18.6bn, 18 percent up on the year before.

Technical reserves totaled $52bn, representing one third of Brazil's entire insurance market.

Bradesco, with its wide range of products and services, is fully equipped to serve customers from all social and economic levels, from low-income individuals to the largest corporations.  This profile is in line with one of the bank's oldest commitments and one of the values underpinning its corporate culture: supporting economic and social development in Brazil for the benefit of its citizens. This commitment is forever.  As a result, every year it invests more than any other company in the sector. In 2010, for example, it invested around $2.3bn in infrastructure, IT and telecommunications, as well as more $64m in the training of its 95,000-strong workforce.

If Bradesco is regarded in Brazil and abroad as a modern, solid, dynamic and constructive institution, which benefits both its customers and shareholders, this is due as much to its performance as to the responsible management that has characterized the last seven decades, not to mention the private social investments that have made it so distinguished among the Brazilian business community. In September 2010, its corporate governance practices received a GAMMA 7 score from Standard & Poor's, the highest score ever granted by the firm. On the social and environmental responsibility front, it has signed up to the most important national and international commitments, including the Global Pact, the Equator Principles and the Principles for Responsible Investment. It also joined the Green Protocol, a Brazilian Environment Ministry initiative for the implementation of a common sustainability agenda in the banking sector. Bradesco is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, the Bovespa Corporate Sustainability Index and the Carbon Efficient Index, a joint initiative of the São Paulo Stock Exchange and the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES).

In addition to its corporate initiatives, Bradesco also contributes to the welfare of the country and its population by investing in various social and cultural projects.  Through Fundação Bradesco, founded 54 years ago, the Bank has developed an extensive educational programme geared towards underprivileged communities, running 40 schools throughout the country which provide free, high-quality education to needy children and teenagers, in addition to a number of other social and educational activities. Since it began operations, Fundação Bradesco has provided more than two million students with an education, which, together with other courses – both on-site and distance learning – rises to more than 4 million. 

The Bradesco Sports and Education Program has provided volleyball and basketball training for around 2,000 girls aged between 8 and 18, in addition to classes and activities to supplement schoolwork.  Since 2010 the program has been implemented in a modern, 10,000sq. m sports complex equipped with courts, locker rooms and pools. Every year, Bradesco invests in hundreds of cultural and folk events and sponsors various initiatives designed to promote citizenship and respect for the environment.

It is a virtual consensus among market analysts that Brazil has entered a new growth cycle, tied to the responsible management of social and environmental issues. This country has become particularly attractive, with its robust domestic market, major infrastructure projects and excellent prospects for a continuous upturn in income and jobs. And Bradesco has played a primary part in consolidating this scenario. With its efficiency, brand strength and tradition of service excellence, the bank will continue contributing to an even better future.

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