Company Visits


Company Background
ABN AMRO is the subsidiary of Dutch bank. It is the fourth largest privately owned Brazilian bank with a strong presence in Brazil since 1917, when a branch of the former Hollandsche Bank was opened in Sao Paulo and has maintained its position in the Brazilian bank market ever since. In 1998 ABN AMRO acquired Banco Real and the small state-owned banks Bandepe and Paraiban. In Brazil, the ABN AMRO is operating under the name BANCO REAL and is playing an important role among the top retail banks with some 5.6 million clients and about 23,000 employees. The acquisition of Brazilian bank Sudameris in 2003 reinforced its position as the fourth largest bank in Brazil.

Operating as a universal bank, some of the services and products offered by the bank are for consumers/private/middle market and corporate banking with retail being the most profitable of all areas. The business lines are: Wholesale Clients; Consumer & Commercial and Private Clients & Asset Management.

As a result of these acquisitions, the bank has introduced new changes such as training activities, technology upgrading and process reengineering which have enabled a significant efficiency gain to keep its position as a top player in the financial sector and focus on client satisfaction which are among the corporate strategic vision.

In 2002, the bank signed a five-year for IT services outsourcing contract with Electronic Data Systems Corp. for its wholesale client unit and planned to outsource more of its IT services in the future but security and continuity of the systems will remain in-house.

Visit Summary
The visit to BANCO REAL in Sao Paulo included a presentation and tour of their IT facility which gave us a clear understanding of who they are, how they operate and how they are positioned in the banking market in the country. The presentation was given by a Senior Vice President of IT of BANCO REAL consisting of an overview of the bank and its services, the branches and ATMs expansion across the county as well as some of the challenges the bank faces.

Most of these branches are located in more economically developed areas throughout the country and new ATMs are being opened in protected areas as they have been challenged with changing hours of operation for some ATMs due to vandalism. Another challenge is that due to inflation, their systems have to be modified with short term notices such as modifying programming codes to reflect these changes in their system.

By touring their IT facility, we were able to see firsthand how they operate their Call Center and see the call representatives on a normal working day, observe the applications they use. The call center operates 7 days / 24 hours and it includes full service with inbound and outbound activities.

We were also given a tour of their data center which has all the production infrastructure equipment for supporting all their remote offices, braches, ATMs across the country as well as other countries. Investments in infrastructure and ATM network have created a competitive infrastructure of their data center which have enabled BANCO REAL to continue to provide fast response transaction continuity and reliable connectivity to transfer data between the headquarter offices, remote offices and ATMs across the country.

Despite some of the bank's challenges, BANCO REAL is a well-structured bank and well prepared technologically and it is no surprise why it considers Brazil one of its main homemarkets.