(Adds quotes, details from event)
By Guillermo Parra-Bernal
SAO PAULO Aug 20 Banco Bradesco SA,
Brazil's second-largest private sector bank, will focus on
distributing more financial services in a faster and more
cost-effective way to weather a flagging Brazilian economy,
executives said on Wednesday.
Bradesco, based in Osasco, will focus on offering the most
complete platform of lending and financial services products in
order to leverage growth across the country, Chief Executive
Officer Luiz Carlos Trabuco told investors at an event in São
Boosting distribution, or the bank's ability to reach
different clients for different services using its branches,
relationships and digital networks, "will give us a competitive
advantage for the coming years as we expand nationally," Trabuco
"In products in which we lack the necessary scale to win, we
may underperform, so that is why we are obsessed in this
organization on gaining scale," Trabuco said. "Pursuing scale is
the key to the sustainability of our earnings."
The remarks underscore the lender's efforts to recoup some
of the ground lost in recent years to its larger rivals,
state-run Banco do Brasil SA and private-sector giant
Itaú Unibanco Holding SA. Bradesco is investing
heavily in technology to allow customers to use Internet and
mobile banking channels.
As the bank's efforts center on Brazil, the scope for a
potential overseas expansion is narrowing, Chairman Lazaro de
Mello Brandão said at the event. If Bradesco were to expand
outside Brazil, it would do so through its wholesale and private
banking platforms, rather than its retail banking unit, Brandão
and other executives noted.
Chief Financial Officer Luiz Carlos Angelotti said he
expects that net interest margin will end the year at 7.3
percent, compared with 7.7 percent in the second quarter.
He said the default ratio for the large corporate segment is
expected to return to the quarterly average of 0.3 percent this
quarter, and that the 90-day default ratio should be stable at
current levels next year.
Angelotti said growth in Bradesco's card business could help
it top fee income growth guidance of 9 percent to 13 percent
this year, though he ruled out any changes to the dividend
Banco do Brasil, the nation's largest bank by assets, has
for the past three years invested in stepping up cross-selling -
the sale of different products to the same customer in the
Itaú has done that as well, but has also boosted the scope
of investment banking, to provide more fee-related services to
some of the nation's and Latin America's largest companies.
(Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal; Editing by Chris Reese
and Leslie Adler)