BMG Bank President Ricardo Guimarães Is Changing The Loan Business In Brazil

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For years, banks in Brazil didn’t lend money to consumers unless those consumers had more than enough collateral to cover the loan. Most Brazilians used the pay-as-you-go system to buy land, build houses and even purchase cars. Big purchases were cash transaction that occurred over time. If the banks felt consumers had enough collateral, they would lend money, but the interest rate on those loans was exorbitant by any banking standards.

When Antonio Guimarães founded the Land Credit Bank of Minas Gerais, he wanted to help miners get vehicle loans. Antonio made a fortune in mining and wanted to help his neighbors in the city of Belo Horizonte buy automobiles that were being manufactured in Brazil by the big American car companies in the 1940s. According to CrunchBase.com, Antonio’s bank was successful and by the time son, Flavio, was ready to take over, the bank was very profitable thanks to a lean internal structure.

Ricardo Guimarães was named president of the bank in 1998. By that time, the bank’s name was changed to the Bank of Minas Gerais or BMG Bank. Ricardo, the grandson of Antonio, had a business degree and 10 years of experience in the banking world. It was under Ricardo’s management that bank started to become more than a state bank, according to a R7.com article about the Guimarães family.

BMG Bank did something other banks didn’t want to do, according to R7.com. The bank sponsored a local soccer club and soccer fans started to notice the orange BMG logo that the players wore on game days. Ricardo became president of the local Minas Gerais club in 2001 and held that position for five years. During that time, the banker learned the ins and outs of the soccer world. He convinced the bank’s board to sponsor more soccer clubs after President Luis de Silva changed banking regulations in 2008. Today, BMG Bank is one of the leaders in the consignment credit industry.

BMG Bank has expanded its reach in the last 18 years. Ricardo Guimarães is a well know figure in the soccer world. And he is a respected member of the financial industry. Several newspaper and magazines have interviewed Guimarães, and they always ask him about soccer, banking, the economy and political situation in Brazil. Portal.communique recently asked Ricardo about China and how China would impact Brazil’s economy in 2016.

The Chinese economic situation has played a devastating role in Brazil’s economic issues, and Guimarães thinks China won’t be a help in 2016 either. According to the article, Guimarães said the China’s currency, the yuan, is overvalued against the dollar, and it could depreciate by as much as 15 percent in 2016. That won’t help Brazil, but he said the Brazilian government may inject money into the economy this year, and that will help pull Brazil out of the recession.

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