Company Visits


Company Background
Unibanco is one of Brazil's oldest and currently the 3rd largest private sector banks in Brazil. It celebrated it's 80th year in banking in the year 2004. Unibanco focuses on four main banking areas: Retail, Wholesale, Wealth Management and Insurance/Pensions. The Retail market serves individuals of all income levels and companies with sales up to R$150. The Wholesale portion of their business is focused on building long-term relationships with companies whose annual sales are >R$150 million. The Insurance/Pension division offers life insurance, auto insurance, pension and retirement plans to both individuals and corporations. Finally, their Wealth management division was formed in 2002 and currently has over R$32.7 billion in assets under management. In total, Unibanco has 14,356 points of service and 17.5 million clients.

Unibanco's objective is to obtain an annual growth of 15% in earnings per share and to be a standard for others to compare to with regard to their services. One of the guidelines that their strategic goals are based on is "continuous efficiency maximization". IT can certainly be leveraged for meeting goals based on this guideline.

Visit Summary
The class visited one of Unibanco's locations in Sao Paulo. After the a brief discussion about the background of the company in general the presentation shifted to the technologies used to maintain its strong presence in banking and enables it to grow in a highly competitive industry.

Unibanco is often recognized as an IT innovator with regard to banking. Included in the 14,000+ points of service are 7000+ ATMs and they also offer on-line banking to their customers. Every transaction that can occur in person at a teller can also be accomplished either online or from the ATMs (including check printing!). In addition, any debit applied to a customer's accounts can be forwarded to that customer's mobile phone.

Recent figures show that about 477 thousand clients of Unibanco utilize their on-line capabilities. This generates only about 8-10% of all their transactions. There are many factors in Brazil that affects the number of clients transitioning to electronic banking like lack of internet access points outside of large cities and societal miss understandings of the stability of banking in this manner. In order to try and dispel these issues Unibanco has installed banking access points and held informational seminars and training opportunities in remote areas of the county.

In addition to the discussion on the company's business they also addressed the topic of social responsibility by commenting on the company's efforts with The Instituto Moreira Salles and The Instituto Unibanco. The Instituto Moreira Salles is committed to the maintenance and promotion of Brazilian culture and the preservation of its memory. The institute supports projects in the areas of photography, literature, cinema, music and visual arts. The Instituto Unibanco's objective is to improve education with special emphasis on environmental protection and social inclusion of needier children and teenagers. This is accomplished with providing formal education, teachers' training, professional training and environmental education.