Itau Unibanco Holding NYSE:ITUB SAO:ITUB3 is a highly diversified financial conglomerate formed in late 2008 through a merger of large and in many ways complementary companies, retail and commercial giant Banco Itau and corporate banking group Unibanco, Brazil's third largest private banking institution. Customers in Brazil, Western Europe, the USA, Japan and China are provided with regular, commercial and corporate banking services. Products offered include various loan types with most relating to lease financing, mortgages and personal as well as savings and other types of bank demand deposits. In Brazil where it controls 11% of the retail banking market it operates over 30,000 ATM's (the large ATM presence means the bank's personnel costs are relatively low). Although present in all five regions of Brazil it has wisely invested more heavily in the southeast region (where 67% (2637) of the branches are and a lot of its business growth comes from, Southeast Brazil has only 41% of the country's population but over 60% of its gdp). About 2 to 7 percent of branches specialize in providing specific products and services rather than being full service; they are known as Customer Site Branches. Customer Site Branches increase cost effectiveness by limiting services to those with a higher or growing demand (corporate or commercial), arrangements have also been made with other ATM operators to boost the company's presence in certain provinces. Some business lines (Personnalite, Itau BBAU capital markets) specialize in a specific type of service (private and corporate) while others serve the entire industry (commercial banking division). In March 2009 it entered into a strategic partnership with Mitsubishi and Suzuki car dealerships centered around vehicle lease financing (important since many Brazilian automobile dealers have arrangements with banks and other institutions, 5.8% of the 6 to 7 million vehicle contracts it has (leads all companies in Brazil) are for trucks (2009)). In late 2010 the company began integrating Unibanco full service and site branches (1200 in the first 9 months) into the Itau brand.
Abroad there are another 1500 to 2000 branches operated by international subsidiaries based in Latin America (Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Chile), the Cayman Islands, Western Europe, and Japan. Business abroad is more product and service specific depending on the country or region; three of the bank's securities offices are in Asia/the Middle East while six of the eight main private banking offices are located in the America's, Europe's head office is in Portugal (Itau Europa).(Read more at Wikinvest )