Profit of the largest private bank in Brazil grew 15% in the first quarter

Rio de Janeiro, May 9 (Latest) .- Itaú Unibanco obtained a net profit of 7,361 million reais (about 1,472.2 million dollars) in the first quarter, with a growth of 15.1% compared to the same period of 2021 , thanks to the strong jump in its credit portfolio, reported this Monday the largest private bank in Brazil.

The profits of the largest private financial institution in Latin America, which also operates as a commercial bank in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Uruguay, grew by 2.8% compared to the last quarter of 2021, according to the financial balance sent to shareholders.

Itaú attributed the growth of its profit in a period of difficulties both to the 13.9% jump in its credit portfolio and to the higher financial profit margin with its clients due to the increase in interest rates and the use of more affordable products. profitable.

“Among the factors that most included the result is the growth of the financial margin with clients, driven by the greater volume of credit and by the change in the mix of products, with greater relative growth of products with better spreads and growth of revenues with credit cards. due to higher billing,” the bank explained in its balance sheet.

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The growth of the financial margin was also caused by the strong increase in rates in Brazil and the increase in credit prices. The country’s basic interest rate was raised last week to 12.75% annually, its highest level in five years, as a tool by the Central Bank to curb rising inflation.

Itaú’s credit portfolio jumped 13.9% in the last year, to 1.032 billion reais (about 206.448 million dollars) at the end of March. Compared to December last year, the increase was 0.5%.

The portfolio for individuals jumped 32.9%, to 347.4 billion reais (about 69.48 billion dollars).

Despite this increase in the loan portfolio, the default rate, measured by the percentage of unpaid loans after 90 days overdue, only grew 0.3 percentage points in one year, from 2.3% in March 2021 to 2.6% last March.

“After a 2021 of significant recovery, we meet all the conditions to get through 2022 while maintaining a very robust balance sheet thanks to adequate provisioning and commitment to management focused on efficiency,” explained Itaú’s director of investor relations, Alexandre Broedel, cited in the statement.

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Itaú highlighted in its balance sheet the growth both in the number of clients of its digital bank (Iti) as well as in digital operations, and the transition of the institution towards a new situation for world banking.

The bank added 5.7 million digital customers in the first quarter, with a growth of 55% compared to the same period last year, while the contracting of products by individuals through digital channels reached 66.1%.

Only Iti obtained 2.1 million new clients in the period and already has 16.7 million clients.

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