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Portugal is a member of the European Union, operating a modern banking system that offers advanced financial products. Banco de Portugal is the Portuguese Central Bank, and it was created in 1846, which makes it one of the oldest banks that are still in operation globally. Also, several older banks have been in existence for almost two centuries within Portugal. Over time, these biggest banks have developed, merged, and grown to become the modern financial institutions in the country.

  1. Caixa Geral de Depositos
  2. Banco Comercial Portugues
  3. Banco Santander Totta
  4. Novo Banco
  5. Portuguese Investment Bank
  6. Banco Finantia
  7. ActivoBank Portugal
  8. Banco Credibom
  9. Banco Cofidis
  10. Caixa Central de Crédito Agrícola Mútuo
  11. Abanca Corporación Bancaria
  12. Banco Privado Atlântico Europa
  13. Banco BAI Europa
  14. Deutsche Bank AG – Sucursal em Portugal
  15. Bison Bank

The central monetary authority oversees banks in Portugal, which are composed of 59 commercial banks, 86 mutual agricultural savings, and 4 savings banks. In total there are 4,326 domestic branches, 14,075 ATMs, 11,372 Multibanco ATMs and 284, 600 POS. Each bank provides clients with a variety of banking options and coverage since each bank is created with a different mandate for operation. Also, several of these banks are subsidiaries or partners to other external banks within the EU, North America, and Asia. Banks in Portugal are open from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm Monday to Friday and closed on weekends and public holidays.

Although tens of banks operate in Portugal, some stand out and are considered more prominent than others. Therefore, the top-10 biggest banks are presented and described in detail below.

1. Caixa Geral de Depositos

With headquarters in Lisbon and assets of over €89 billion, loans of €51.6, and deposits of €63.4 billion, this is the largest bank in Portugal, which is state-owned. To serve its clientele well, it provides world-class retail, commercial, and investment banking services which include loans, specialized credits in areas of manufacturing, asset management, real estate, and online banking. It was established in 1876, and by end of 2019, it was having 1,070 branches with a clientele base of 3.8 million clients. The bank operates in 20 countries and in four continents, with over 10,000 workers.

2. Banco Comercial Portugues

This is the largest bank in Portugal with a focus on the retail segment and has headquarters in Porto. The bank is part of the investor compensation scheme and Deposit Guarantee Fund. Notwithstanding, it still offers its clients access to conventional banking products and services.

Banco Comercial Portugues was founded in 1985 and operates 600 domestic branches, and 500 branches in other countries including Poland, Switzerland, China, Angola, and Mozambique. With 15,700 employees, the bank was ranked as Best Foreign Exchange bank in Portugal by Global Finance in 2019. At the end of the same year, the bank had a market capitalization of $3.3 billion. Banco Comercial Portugues has over 4 million clients within their business folders across the Portuguese states.

3. Banco Santander Totta

This is a subsidiary of Spanish Santander Group and the third-largest bank in Portugal in terms of assets. It has 7,000 employees and serves 4.7 million customers through 640 branches across Portugal. This is a private bank, and it was established in 1843 when it was called Banco Totta & Acores and Banco Totta later. In 2018, it was named as the Safest Bank in Portugal by Global Finance, and Euromoney recognized it as the Best Bank in Portugal. Banco Santander Totta operates over 1,800 ATMs all across the country. It also offers its clients savings and current account services, loan services, asset management, and several commercial products.

Over the past few years, Banco Santander Totta averages a net income of over €300 million with a combined total asset of €45 billion.

4. Novo Banco

Novo Banco succeeded Banco Espirito Santo in 2014 which was the second-largest bank in Portugal as of then. The bank was created explicitly by the Central Bank of Portugal to rescue the liabilities and assets of the failed Banco Espirito Santo. It provides its clients with a wide range of services, including retail facilities, investment banking, asset management, venture capital, insurance services, and much more. It has 400 branches in Portugal and a further 21 branches outside Portugal after closing a number of branches in New York, Nassau, Cape Verde, Venezuela, and London. At the end of 2018, the bank reported €52.6 billion in total assets €30.3 billion in customer deposits, and €25 billion in loans. Also, in 2017, the bank made an income of over €400 million.

5. Portuguese Investment Bank

This is the 5th biggest bank in Portugal and was established in 1981, and it operates as a subsidiary of Spanish credit institution Caixabank. It has a customer base of 1.7 million retail and business customers through 421 branches, 40 investment centers, 34 corporate and institutional centers, 1 mobile unit branch, 1,340 ATMs, and approximately 31, 000 POS terminals. The Portuguese Investment Bank mostly does not provide conventional banking services such as savings and current accounts to its clients.

CaixaBank Group currently holds one hundred percent shares, and it has been reported that by the end of 2018 the mortgage loans reached €1.3 billion.

6. Banco Finantia

The bank headquartered in Lisbon is an independent Portuguese biggest bank exclusive in private banking and corporate and investment banking — offering investment funds, portfolio management, securities, brokerage, and insurance services. Its net income via a 2016 consensus is valued at 30.7 million euros with  1.81 billion euros and 79.9 million euros as total assets and revenue respectively.

7. ActivoBank Portugal

Recognized for its adaptation and integration of digital technology in the finance sector, the bank was founded in Lisbon in 1994. It was first founded as Banco7 and was rebranded in 2010 to ActivoBank. The bank operates a transactional banking app that ensures a five-minute issue of credit and debit cards and opens an account in 15 minutes.

It offers services ranging from current accounts, mortgage loans, debit cards, credit cards, savings accounts, time deposit accounts, consumer loans, and car loans. As of 2015, the bank accounted for 730.67 million EUR in total assets and 33.26 million EUR net income.

8. Banco Credibom

A recipient of the Five Star Award for consumer credit, In 2018 Banco Credibom reported a net income account of 36.28 million EUR and 1,875.77 million EUR in total assets. It is a member of the French Crédit Agricole group. Its accounts cover current accounts, savings accounts, and time deposit accounts. Additionally, Banco Credibom provides commercial, financial products, and services to qualified commercial institutions and individuals.

9. Banco Cofidis

This is one of the largest banks in Portugal, it mainly provides consumer and business loans (credit cards, consumer loans, car loans, and student loans) to individuals and businesses remotely. The bank reported a net income of 28,83 million EUR and 561,75 million EUR in 2014. Headquartered in Lisboa, It is a member of Fundo de Garantia de Depósitos and engages in the deposit guarantee scheme of Portugal that applies to current accounts, savings accounts, time deposit accounts made by natural persons, legal entities and covers up to up to 100,000 EUR per bank per depositor.

10. Caixa Central de Crédito Agrícola Mútuo

Founded in 1984 to head the Crédito Agrícola Group and eventually expanded its operations in 1994 to become a universal bank. Its services include commercial banking, retail banking, investment fund, and asset management, Insurance current accounts, savings accounts, time deposit accounts, debit cards, credit cards, consumer loans, Mortgage loans, pension plans, and consultancy services.

The bank reported a total asset account of 17,988.44 million EUR and a 152.15 million EUR net income in 2017 and employs over 3,618 workers.

11. Abanca Corporación Bancaria

Abanca Corporación Bancaria is a retail and business banking-focused bank. Formerly known as NCG Banco, the bank was created in 2011 after several Galician savings banks merged.

ABANCA bank focuses on retail, private, and business banking products and services to natural persons, families, companies, SMEs, and freelancers. Abanca Corporación Bancaria, SA, Sucursal em Portugal operates as a branch of Abanca Corporacion Bancaria, S.A. (Spain).

The bank based in Lisboa delivers its products and services through its brick-and-mortar branches, app, and online banking. In 2020 total assets of Abanca Corporación Bancaria, SA, Sucursal em Portugal were 3,198.42 mln EUR. In 2019 the bank’s net income was 60,39 mln EUR. Abanca Corporación Bancaria, SA, Sucursal em Portugal had 386 employees in 2019.

12. Banco Privado Atlântico Europa

Starting humbly with operations in Luanda (Angola), Group ATLANTICO is now present in all Angolan provinces. It provides financial services to individuals, companies, and public sector organizations.

In 2009 Group ATLANTICO expanded its operations to the international level. The bank founded Banco Privado Atlantico-Europa for its Portugal operations intending to meet further its founding goal of being an innovative financial institution.

Banco Privado Atlântico Europa offers a wide range of retail and corporate banking products and services to its clients in Portugal. Banco Atlântico Europa, SA delivers its products and services through direct and indirect channels: physical branches, online banking, and a mobile app.

13. Banco BAI Europa

Established in Portugal in 1998, Banco BAI Europa is a subsidiary of Banco Angolano de Investimentos, SA (Angola). Banco BAI Europa’s main business focus is on universal banking. The bank provides a wide range of retail, corporate, and investment banking products and services to private individuals and companies.

Banco BAI Europa, SA delivers its products and services through two banking channels, namely: branch and online banking. The bank participates in the deposit guarantee scheme of Portugal.

This deposit guarantee scheme applies to current accounts, savings accounts, time deposit accounts made by natural persons, legal entities and covers up to 100,000 EUR per bank per depositor.

14. Deutsche Bank AG – Sucursal em Portugal

Deutsche Bank is one of the EU’s largest banks in terms of total assets. The universal bank has a strong presence in Europe, the United States, Asia-Pacific, and emerging markets.

The bank offers a wide range of commercial, corporate, and investment banking and asset and asset management products. Deutsche Bank AG – Sucursal em Portugal operates as a branch of DEUTSCHE BANK AG (Germany).

Deutsche Bank AG – Sucursal in Portugal had 43 employees by 2020. In 2011 the total assets of Deutsche Bank AG – Sucursal in Portugal were 3,568.17 million EUR. In 2011 the total bank balance was 4.65 mln EUR.

15. Bison Bank

Formerly known as BANIF – Banco de Investimento (BBI), Bison Bank was established on December 15, 2000. The main business focus of Bison Bank is on corporate and investment banks, private banks, retail and trading, extensive markets, consolidation and acquisitions, and formal finance.

In 2014 BISON BANK had 42 employees, and its total assets were worth 332.84 million EUR. In 2014 the bank’s revenue was 28.34 million EUR. BISON BANK, SA is a member of Fundo de Garantia de Depósitos (FGD) and makes contributions to it.

Conclusion

Portugal, as a member of the EU, has several big banks that operate within the company. Many of these banks (including the Central Bank of Portugal) have been in existence since the 1890s, which is considered one of the oldest in the world. Over the centuries, these banks have gradually grown into large financial institutions of today. The biggest banks in Portugal are a combination of commercial and investment banks. Many banks within the country are subsidiaries of larger financial groups that operate in several countries worldwide.