The chosen place for onshore investments
Since 2001, the Brazilian bank Bradesco has been present in Luxembourg, through the acquisition of Banco Banespa International. After buying Banco Mercantil de São Paulo in Brazil, which had a subsidiary in Luxembourg, these two structures were merged and Banco Bradesco Luxembourg was created. Recently, Bradesco’s mother company decided to choose Luxembourg as its European headquarter for commercial banking. Private banking, trade finance and investment banking activities will be managed by the Luxembourgish subsidiary. LFF spoke to Jean Philippe Leroy, General Director of Banco Bradesco Europa S.A., about the latest developments.
LFF: Why did you choose Luxembourg as your European head office?
JPL: First of all, because of the importance of Europe for the expansion of Brazilian trades. Europe is one of the largest Brazilian import and export partners. Secondly, because of the geographic location of Luxembourg in Europe. It was a logical decision to be here. Last, but not least, the business friendly environment of Luxembourg and the proactivity of its government were key elements for this choice.
LFF: Which other financial centres were on your shortlist when making this decision?
JPL: Actually, it was decided that the expansion of the commercial banking segment was to be here in Luxembourg. We also have a broker dealer in London and could have expanded from London as well. But we decided not to mix the businesses. Everything that is broker dealer oriented between Brazil and Europe will be dealt within London and everything that is commercial banking will be here in Luxembourg. It doesn’t mean that we cannot expand to other places in Europe, but the headquarter in Europe is Luxembourg.
LFF: Do you believe that Luxembourg could become the European private banking centre of the future?
JPL: I believe that it is already one of the centres. For European investors, it is the chosen place for onshore investments. For offshore investments, it seems to be Switzerland. There seems to be a complementary action between the European financial centres.
LFF: How strong are the ties to your mother company in Brazil? Can you act independently?
JPL: We are independent because we are a subsidiary. But our shareholders are from Brazil (Banco Bradesco). I am also a director in Brazil of Banco Bradesco. We have a very strong relationship, because lots of the operations that we do, basically the vast majority, are operations that are generated with our Brazilian customers.
LFF: What are Bradesco’s ambitions in the coming years?
JPL: Our objectives in the next years are aggressive. We don’t just want to be a participant in the market, we want to lead the process of banking between Europe and Brazil, and over time maybe we need to expand more.