Banco Safra

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Banco Safra S.A.
(Private)
Industry Finance and Insurance
Founded 1955
Headquarters São Paulo, Brazil
Key people
Joseph Safra, (Chairman)
Products Financial Services
Revenue Increase US$5.9 billion (2012)
Increase US$ 575.1 million (2013)
Total assets Increase US$ 55.4 billion (2012)
Number of employees
5,456
Parent Safra Group
Subsidiaries Bank Sarasin
Website www.safra.com.br

Banco Safra is a Brazilian local bank, ranking tenth among the country’s largest sector financial institutions in terms of total assets. The bank is part of the larger Safra Group of banks and financial institutions.

History[edit]

The Safra family's history in banking originated with caravan trade between Aleppo, Alexandria and Istanbul during the Ottoman Empire.The Safras decided to move to Brazil in 1952. In the 1960s, Joseph Safra and his father, Jacob Safra, founded Banco Safra, S.A. Most of the Brazilian Sephardic Lebanese Jewish community established themselves as retail or wholesale merchants. After having established many financial institutions in their homeland's capital Lebanon, Beirut in the 1950s, the Safras set up a small specialized bank which originated letters of credit between Sephardic importers and major banks. From this base they grew via the acquisition and opening of new branches.

Joseph Safra recently[when?] purchased the remaining shares of Banco Safra, Safra National Bank of New York and Banque Safra-Luxembourg S.A. from his brother, Moise Safra.[citation needed]

Banco Safra headquarters in São Paulo.

Operations[edit]

A full-service commercial bank, Banco Safra S. A. operates in all areas of the financial sector. The bank currently experiences difficulties to offer international services. Through its major Brazilian subsidiaries, Safra Leasing, Safra Seguros S. A., Safra Distribuidora de Títulos e Valores Mobiliários and Safra Corretora de Valores e Câmbio Ltda., the bank’s activities extend beyond traditional lending operations to leasing, securities underwriting, investment fund management, stock brokerage and insurance operations. The bank is also active in trade finance, asset management and treasury operations.

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