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Banks Close Branches in Brazil at Fastest Pace in Three Years

  • Shuttered branches total 1,444 in 12 months through November
  • Nation’s five biggest lenders have cut roughly 12,600 jobs
Fewer Bricks, Less Mortar

Brazil’s biggest banks are closing branches at the fastest pace in three years as Covid-19 lockdowns force clients online and competition from fintechs intensifies. Company executives say there’s more to come.

“We were already seeing an increase in the use of digital channels before the pandemic, but due to lockdowns, even clients that didn’t want to had to utilize them,” Renato Lulia Jacob, director of investor relations at Itau Unibanco Holding SA, said in an interview. “Now that branches are open again, we don’t see clients going back there.”