Itaú to roll out Securities Services for key LatAm economies

The bank occupies a leading position in high-volume securities custody for international customers in several countries in the region.

A Brazilian bank, which is proud to be a regional and global player: this is Itaú Unibanco, one of the world’s largest financial conglomerates, which in recent years has enhanced its footprint and staked out a position in the major Latin American economies and the main global financial centers. From the Rio Grande, which marks the border between México and the USA, to Patagonia, in the extreme south of the continent, Itaú has become the major specialist on Latin America in the eyes of the world. Its operations combine strong local presence with a structured international platform that allows it to work with a wide range of customer profiles, meeting their most sophisticated needs and options in Latin America’s financial markets.

Itaú Unibanco has a thorough understanding of Latin American countries’ dynamics, and has thousands of retail branches and CIB, Asset Management and Private Banking operations in the most important economies in the region, such as Brasil, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, Uruguay and Paraguay. It offers a broad range of services in these markets: from individual checking accounts to services for companies with sales of more than US$100 million a year. From banking services for medium-sized firms to listing companies that want to expand their share of world markets. Itaú Unibanco has a leading position in the personal credit card markets and in financing major infrastructure projects in all these countries.

For customers and institutional investors interested in investing in LatAm, Itaú Unibanco has also been increasing its share in the Securities Services market, both in Brazil and in Uruguay and Chile, where it leads or has a prominent position in the sector, with the result that it has received a number of awards as best custodian in these markets. This year, the bank has extended its Securities Services to Paraguay as well, pioneering the business in this country, and confirming its commitment to developing the region.

The growth of the capital markets in Latin America during the last decade has attracted the attention of institutional investors from around the world. One of Itaú Securities Services’ priorities has been to provide custody and security for large volumes of international customers’ investments.

In 2014 alone, the number of custody transactions handled by Itaú in Latin America reached 76.5 million, higher than in the previous year. The market expects this volume to increase again in 2015, even though analysts believe that the recent major commodities cycle, which has brought a substantial flow of investments into the region, is at or near its end. Itaú has around US$64 billion of investments in its custody portfolios in Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.

In the Brazilian market, Itaú is the second largest provider of international Securities Services for non-resident investors, including sub-custody services and ADR programs. In all the bank holds US$53 billion[1], as well as handling an annual average of 76 million transactions.

In Chile, Itaú has a commanding position, with US$7.7 billion in custody and a total of 25,500 transactions. This is also the case with Paraguay, where operations started this year. And in Uruguay, a more mature market, Itaú Unibanco has US$3.2 billion in custody.

Securities custody, issue of BDRs (Brazilian Depositary Receipts) and custody of securities backing ADRs are not the only services that Itaú Securities Services can offer its global customers (both residents and non-residents). Intrag, the arm of the Itaú group offering fiduciary management services, has a range of options for all types of fund structures and customer segments, such as asset managers, pension funds, family offices etc.

In the wake of Itaú’s other business in the region, Itaú Securities Services also plans to start operating in other Latin American countries where it already has a presence, whether a CIB operation, representative office or broker. Colombia, Peru and México are examples of this.

[1] As of June 2015