Banco Santander Brasil's president said here Thursday that the bank - the "most solid" in Brazil and all of Latin America - accounts for more than a fourth of the profits of parent Grupo Santander, Spain's largest financial institution.
Marcial Portela made his remarks in a presentation to Brazilian correspondents at the 11th Santander-Latin America Conference, organized by the Menendez Pelayo International University and Grupo Santander.
The head of Santander's Americas division, Jesus Zabalza, who also took part in the gathering in this northern city, stressed Wednesday that Santander is focused on growth in Latin America and denied it intends to sell any assets in Brazil.
Brazilian media outlets reported in May that the Spanish company may sell between 30-40 percent of the unit to raise capital.
Spain's banks were hit hard by the collapse of a massive property bubble, but a recent independent financial sector audit showed that Santander would not need extra capital even under the most adverse scenario.
Portela said Thursday that Banco Santander Brasil is the autonomous subsidiary that contributes the largest share - 27 percent in the first quarter of 2012 - of the group's net income, ahead of divisions in Mexico (13 percent), Spain (12 percent) and Britain (13 percent).
The subsidiary also is the most well capitalized and solid of all large Brazilian banks, he said.
Banco Santander Brasil, according to the president, is a young, customer-oriented institution whose goal is to be an extremely solid universal bank with a robust technological platform.
He said the bank has an "essential" role to play in transforming the financial system and contributing to the country's growth.
In his presentation, Portela said Brazil's economy has grown enormously and achieved tremendous global stature in recent years.
He added that the country's financial system - which has seen the consumer loan default rate rise to its highest level in 30 months due to mounting household debt - remains "very solid" and "well regulated."
Brazil, the world's sixth-largest economy ahead of Britain, Russia and Canada, has "very significant investments" planned for the coming years in preparation for the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics, the executive said. EFE