All articles by Rodrigo Amaral

Rodrigo Amaral

Argentinian banks bullish about profits

Argentinas banks are expected to post their best results for a decade in 2010, having escaped the worst of the global financial crisis Looking ahead, sustained economic growth means the prospects are even brighter for 2011, offering the prospects of record sector profits

Barcelona FC manager Pep Guardiola in Banco Sabadell major ad campaign

High-profile brand ambassador Pep Guardiola, manager of Barcelona Football Club, is at the heart of the initiative Rodrigo Amaral discusses the campaign and its goals with Ramon Domenech, Banco Sabadells head of marketing.

Brazilian calm after fraud storm

The disclosure of a long-running fraud in a mid-size Brazil-based bank raised alarms about governance and regulation in the countrys banking industry But, as Rodrigo Amaral reports, the authorities claim the case demonstrates the regulatory framework works well and prevented the scandal affecting the whole sector. In November, the Brazilian Central Bank revealed that large discrepancies had been found in the reporting of operations involving the sale of loan portfolios at Banco Panamericano, the country’s 20th largest bank by assets.

Record year provides la Caixa boost

ServiCaixa, la Caixas online ticketing subsidiary covering theatre, cinema, music and sport, is one of the most successful non-banking service companies operated by any bank

La Caixa posts 16% fall in net earnings

La Caixa, Spains third-largest banking group reported recurring net profits of 1.71bn ($2.34bn) in fiscal 2009, down 16.7% from the previous year. Net interest income rose by 12.1% to 3.93m while strict management of costs restricted expenses growth to 1%; the cost-income ratio fell by 2.3%age points to 42.9%.

Shaking up the French cards sector

French-based aqoba has been launched with the aim of grabbing a 5 percent share of the countrys affinity and loyalty cards market within five years CEO Thibauld Lanxade tells Rodrigo Amaral his firm can offer a complimentary rather than alternative service to those currently available from French banks. The launch of Paris-based aqoba, the first firm accorded the status of payments institution (PI) following the EU payments directive coming into force on 1 November 2009, has been flagged up as an opportunity to challenge the dominance of the countrys major retail banks.

BCP confident of mass market growth

Banco de Crdito del Per, the countrys largest bank, boasts current account and savings market share rates of more than 40 percent Carlos Morante, the banks head of commercial banking, tells Rodrigo Amaral it is determined to stay ahead by targeting the two-thirds of Peruvians currently unbanked. Banco de Crdito del Per (BCP) is the largest bank in Peru by assets, but will have to maintain its recent growth rates if it is to retain its market leading position

Mexico: Corresponding with the unbanked

Though it initially avoided the worst aspects of the prolonged economic downturn witnessed north of the border, Mexicos retail banking market is now facing challenges very similar to those seen in the US, and its banks are having to adjust their business models as a result The Mexican economy may have begun growing again, but dwindling credit availability means that both banks and consumers are facing difficult choices, even as untapped segments and increased competition respectively provide both groups with hope for the future.

The mobile ATM

Hal-Cash is one of the new breed of retail financial services innovations from around the world that look to exploit mobile phones and mobile devices Based in Spain, Hal-Cash lets people withdraw cash from ATMs using SMS text messages Rodrigo Amaral talks to the companys CEO, Joaqun Beltrn Nuez, in MadridA Spanish company has developed an ambitious system that enables mobile phone users to go to an ATM and make a withdrawal without the need for a card

Brazil’s emerging market

Brazils largest bank is making sure it remains the market leader by catering for the growing number of underbanked Brazilians entering the mainstream retail banking market