Novo Banco is now novobanco: ‘We have entered a new cycle of growth’

  • ECO News
  • 25 October 2021

Novo Banco has renewed its image. It is now called novobanco. For CEO António Ramalho, the change was a necessity to forget the past and look to a "new cycle of growth".

Novo Banco is a new bank as of this Monday. The bank presented its new identity that “responds to a new cycle of growth,” said António Ramalho at the launch of the new image in Lisbon.

The brand renewal will represent an €80 million investment, revealed Novo Banco’s CEO to journalists. 1.5 million of which correspond to the creative part (creating the new image) and the media campaign that will now be launched in newspapers, television and radio. “It is half the cost of a regular special audit,” Ramalho said, referring to the €3 million it costs to carry out audits because of the aid requested from the Resolution Fund.

The bank is renewing its image after years and years of losses and seeing its name discussed in the public arena, namely in the parliament’s commission of enquiry that ended last Friday, and now wants a new direction to show that “it has something to give to Portuguese society.”

“You don’t change your image because you don’t believe in it,” stressed the CEO, who said that Novo Banco’s success “will take time” but “will be recognised.

With Novo Banco presenting its third-quarter results this week, António Ramalho declined to lift the veil on the numbers, but left the idea that the bank will maintain the profit trajectory it recorded in the first half of the year.

“The half-year results are conclusive about the profit path the bank is on. €137 million positive results [in the first half] is what the Portuguese like to see. But what the Portuguese don’t see is that the results are due to growth in the banking product margin and cost reductions,” The CEO explained.

Ramalho sees opportunities “in second-tier banks”

The bank’s restructuring period ends at the end of the year, the date from which certain restrictions, such as acquiring other banks, end.

On this topic, Ramalho said he will look at “all the possibilities for growth” of the business, whether by organic means or by acquisition “in second-tier banks” in Portugal. Newspapers have already reported Novo Banco’s interest in buying EuroBic. As for the possibility of Novo Banco itself being bought by another bank, the CEO relegated the issue to the shareholders: US fund Lone Star and the Resolution Fund.