Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A.

Made for You

Sunday 2 June 2013, by fjismmn, nelsonquesado

3 inspired

0. Background

Itaú Unibanco Holding S.A. is a Brazilian bank headquartered in São Paulo, founded in 1945, which offers checking and savings accounts, loans and financing, credit card, pension, insurance, asset management, savings plans, financial advisory and investment of tens of millions consumers and businesses. Operating in more than 25 countries, became the largest bank the Southern Hemisphere in November 3, 2008.


1. The main facts about the activities of the company.

It is very difficult to define the territory of a bank. Instead of saying that a bank begins and ends with its customers, it is more appropriate if we perceive this description as a cycle. If we think that the universe of clients is expanding permanently, we see that becomes even more difficult to close this corporate map.

In fact, the territory of a bank should not constrains it self to its customers, but to everything around it, because as in the condition of intermediary, a bank is only a mean of financial connection between people.

Itaú bases its values ​​on two statements: a financial institution can transform the society (permanently) into a better place to live; a financial institution will only be successful if it helps to build a healthy economic environment.

The role that Itaú wants to impersonate is as a solid bank that helps the nations where it operates to be economically stronger.
The parts involved in value sharing proposed by the bank are the customers, employees, partners, shareholders, suppliers and the society in order to create a vicious and sustainable circle to create value in a transparent and balanced way.


2. The Ethical challenges this company is addressing.

As a private institution, Banco Itaú challenges itself to compromise part of its short-term profits by understanding that some investments are crucial in corporate sustainability and these actions will generate strenght for the company in the long run.

Banco Itaú focuses its social actions in three main causes:

- Conscious use of money:
One of the goals is to provide tools that help customers realize their dreams and have a better life. The bank offers personalized support to promote the responsible use of money and to help maintain balanced accounts, besides increasing the monetary capacity of its clients. The previous model used was based on profit through billing and interest rates on loans that generate income. A customer debt generated profit to the bank. Today, Itaú believes it is possible to ensure profitability in the long term by investing in financial education for its customers, creating value through joint investment.

- Education to transform society:
Itaú understand that a high quality public education system is the key factor to transform the society. This goal is the main objective of the social activities promoted by the bank.
The Itaú Social Foundation develop methodologies focused on improving the public policy in public education. The proposals developed nationwide are focused on Integral Education, Educational Management, Evaluation of Social Projects and Social Mobilization.
The Unibanco Institute operates within the public high school system. The Youth of the Future project, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and state governments, contributes to the improvement of school management with impacts on the quality and effectiveness of public education.

- Arts and culture for everyone
The power of art to transform people is one of Itaú’s beliefs. The art is capable of helping the education of citizens. Art can help inhabitants to think critically about the reality in which they live. The Itaú Cultural Institute was created 25 years ago to support the philosophy. The institute promotes free events and reinforced its commitment to artistic production through programs which promotes cultural projects in several cities. The commitment to the democratization of culture is also reflected in Itaú Space Cinema, which is in six Brazilian cities. Since when has emerged in 1995 as Space Unibanco, has been dedicated to showing films that have little space in the commercial circuit.


3. What makes you believe this company is really ethical and why you trust it?

Itaú’s sustainable performance can be represented in numbers:

- $ 100 million invested in social and cultural projects;
- 7 millions books distributed to children in 2012;
- 791 public schools benefited;
- 180 thousand people attended sponsored cultural events in 2012;
- 3.8 million people attended to sponsored theaters in 2012.

Furthermore, as Brazilian citizens that lived for 28 years in Brazil, we could personally witness the benefits of Itaú’s investment all over the country. When working in the construction industry, we could see really poor workers being helped by those projects. For some kids, Itaú is the only source of opportunities to help them learn how to read, to get a job and, in the future, to provide for their families.


4.The possible challenges facing the company in the future and how you think this company may improve.

The Itaú Bank is one of the most profitable companies in Brazil. It is easier for a company to invest in social projects when the cash flow is favorable.

However, if a bank crisis strikes the company, its CEO, executive directors, investor and shareholders might claim a reduction of investments in social projects to increase its profitability.

A way to avoid this problem is through novelty. Weaknesses are always opportunities for improvement. If the bank can create a team of innovative professionals and work aimed to propose new ways of doing social intervention, the future challenges can be overcome.

In a world we dream of, the perfect scenario would have a company that has its financial services as a support activities to promote social interventions.


Location: São Paulo (Brazil)

Sector: Financial and insurance activities

Official website:

Key figures:
  • Net income: 6.85 billion (2012);
  • Total assets: 496,415 billion (2012);
  • Most valuable brand in Brazil: 10.765 billion (2012);
  • Itaú’s social and cultural investments: 13.5 million (2012);
  • Employees: 97,000 (2012);
  • Countries: 27 (2012);
  • Branches: 5,000 (2012);
  • ATM’s: 28,000 (2012);

Nbr. visits: 427

Nbr. inspires: 3