by Carolina Circle
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Bradesco is looking to expand its digital banking operations to countries such as the United States and Mexico, Chief Executive Octavio de Lazzari said on Wednesday.
“We have a lot of opportunities that we’re going to take advantage of,” he told analysts during a conference call.
Bradesco’s potential move comes as fintechs like NuBank are challenging the big banks in Brazil and expanding across Latin America.
NuBank, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, plans to list its US stock next month at a valuation of about $50 billion. The digital bank also operates in Mexico and Colombia.
Bradesco currently operates three digital banks: Next, Digio and Bitz. At the moment, there are no plans to integrate them, as it could hurt the attractiveness of customers, Lazari said.
Bradesco’s chief executive said the bank’s credit card arm in Mexico – where it has 2.8 million customers – is doing well and could be used as a platform for a digital bank.
Lazzari also gave Bradesco’s outlook a positive tone, saying that despite a more pessimistic economic outlook for the country, the bank should post an increase in fee income above inflation in 2022.
Shares of Bradesco were up 7% at 2:13 p.m., while Ibovespa was up 1.54%. Last week, Lazzari said the bank’s loan book is expected to grow in double digits by 2022, while costs are likely to grow below inflation.