Santander Brazil Announces Launch of Crypto Trading Service

Updated by Geraint Price
In Brief
  • Santander Brazil will offer cryptocurrency services to institutional and retail customers.
  • The Spanish lender also posted net income for the second quarter on Thursday.
  • Brazil is seeing lenders getting into the crypto space as the sector sees competition.
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Santander Brazil, a unit of Spanish banking giant Banco Santander, will offer cryptocurrency-related services to institutional and individual customers in the coming months. 

“We expect in the next few months to have definitions about it, who knows in the next release [of quarterly results], or even before,” CEO Mario Leao told Folha de S. Paulo.

Santander believes crypto is here to stay

“We recognize that it is a market that is here to stay, and it is not necessarily a reaction to competitors positioning themselves, it is simply a view that our client has demand for this type of asset, so we have to find the most correct and more educational way of doing so,” Leao added.

The lender also posted net income for the second quarter, beating earnings estimates. For the bank, the net profit rose 2% on a quarter-on-quarter basis to 4.08 billion reais or $778.08 million. The figure was, however, down 2.1% against the same period last year.

Chairman Ana Botin said: “Our diversification continues to provide a strong and resilient foundation for growth.”

The Brazilian unit’s foray into crypto could essentially provide that benefit to the lender. Especially when the country is looking at increased competition in the space from mainstream banks.

Brazilian banks explore cryptocurrency trading

Two weeks ago, Brazil’s largest private lender, Itau Unibanco, also announced its intention to offer retail trading services for cryptocurrencies.

The report also highlighted that the lender believes in digitalizing traditional financial assets on a blockchain to make crypto widely available. 

Brazilian brokerage XP also expects to extend crypto trading to its clients by mid-Aug, reports confirmed this week.

Brazilian online bank Nubank also launched Nubank Cripto on its banking Nu app to allow the trading of cryptocurrencies.

Santander previously said in a blog post, “This disruptive technology [Blockchain] is making great strides and many praise its multiple applications in different fields, from finance to medicine to the environment.” 

In March, the bank announced a partnership with Agrotokento to offer crypto-secured loans. “This digital solution will allow farmers and the agroecosystem to easily access a new financing system, expanding credit capacity by using tokenized assets,” the statement said.

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