History

A bank with a 92-year history

One side of Itaú Unibanco’s lineage can be traced back to the Brazilian city of Poços de Caldas, where on September 27, 1924, Casa Moreira Salles – a business founded by João Moreira Salles that sold everything from chinaware to apparel, footwear and beverages – received a carta patente from Brazil’s federal government. The authorization permitted Casa Moreira Salles to offer banking services on behalf of established banks in the state of Minas Gerais. Over time, João Moreira Salles transferred the administration of Casa Moreira Salles to his son Walther, who took over the entire business in 1933 while still a law student.

Itaú Unibanco’s second forebear, Banco Central de Crédito S.A., was founded in 1943 by Alfredo Egydio de Souza Aranha, an entrepreneur who had run a successful textile business, and his partner, Aloysio Ramalho Foz. The bank’s first branch was in downtown São Paulo. In 1959, Alfredo Egydio transferred the management of his bank to his nephew, Olavo Setubal, and his son-in-law, Eudoro Villela. Together, the two partners accelerated the institution’s transformation into a major financial services provider.

In the 1960s, Casa Moreira Salles became Unibanco, and Banco Central de Crédito was renamed Itaú. In 2008, these twin institutions – by then the two most important and popular banks in Brazil – combined to form a single operation in one of the largest mergers in Brazilian history.

The histories of Itaú and Unibanco reveal a common concern with ethics and transparency, respect for the law and valuing employees. The two organizations share other important values, such as prioritizing customer satisfaction and promoting culture and education. Itaú Unibanco’s focus on education, culture and social welfare has arisen naturally from the work conducted by the Moreira Salles Institute, the Itaú Cultural Institute, the Itaú Social Foundation and the Unibanco Institute.

Building on its nine decades of history, Itaú Unibanco has recently been expanding beyond national boundaries, putting down roots in other Latin American countries and around the world while continuing to adhere to the core principles and values of its founders. Itaú Unibanco remains alert to what the future is bringing and dedicated to building a better world.

Our Numbers

R$ 238 billion
Our profit in 2015

US$ 39.9 billion
Our market capitalization

90,320 people
Our pool of talent

60 million
The total number of current accounts we manage.

R$ 11 billion
Our investments in technology over the last years

R$ 3.5 million
The number of users who use of our cell phone apps every month