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Banco Rendimento set on middle-market services

Article - August 30, 2011
The São Paulo-based bank offers a range of fast, personalized services
Brazil’s economic boom in recent years has boosted millions of people into the middle class, spurring demand for consumer goods and encouraging people to travel at home and abroad. Both trends are good for banks, which provide consumer loans, financing for companies to increase production, and currency exchange services for travelers.

Banco Rendimento S.A., a São Paulo-based bank founded in 1992, specializes in both these areas. Banco Rendimento concentrates on middle-market businesses that are better served by smaller lenders, which can pay closer attention to them than bigger banks, and tailor services to their special needs.

Currency exchange is also one of the bank’s main activities, handling foreign exchange transactions for close to 20% of all Brazilians who travel overseas.

“Our mission is to be market leaders in currency exchange and in the small and medium-sized business (SME) segment,” says Abramo Douek, Banco Rendimento’s CEO. “To do that we have to give our clients the best service possible, the kind of service they won’t get at bigger banks.”

The bigger banks are also slower and can’t handle their clients’ business as quickly as necessary, says Roger Ades, product director at the bank, who adds that Banco Rendimento’s clients get both faster and more personalized service.

The bank’s growth in recent years owes much to Brazil’s economic growth and price stability it has enjoyed for a decade. Now that inflation is under control, people and businesses enjoy much more advantageous conditions for borrowing, such as lower interest rates and longer lending periods.

“Before, almost no one had access to longer-term credit, and not just the poorer classes, but also SMEs,” says Mr. Ades. “Now, with the economy stabilized and the positive outlook for economic growth, what’s happening is that these companies are looking for longer-term financing.”

Banco Rendimento has also gained market share by offering innovative products. The lender is the biggest issuer of pre-paid debit cards in Brazil, and introduced the Visa TravelMoney card, a pre-paid card for people traveling abroad, in 2003, years before the country’s biggest banks entered that market.

The bank’s business clients also benefit from the emphasis on offering new solutions for their needs. It has started providing businesses with a wider range of financing options, including longer-term borrowing, initial share sales, issuing fixed-income debt instruments and even helping find foreign partners to invest in them.

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