Bradesco, Itaú and Santander have committed to importing and donating to the Brazilian health ministry five million rapid tests, as well as tomographs and respirators

São Paulo, 25 March 2020 - NOTA DE PRENSA 
In an unprecedented initiative, the three largest private banks in Brazil (Bradesco, Itaú and Santander) have joined forces to support the health authorities in their fight against the spread of covid-19. The banks undertook responsibility to import and donate five million rapid tests, as well as medical equipment such as tomographs and respirators, as per the guidelines from the health ministry and market stocks.

This donation will be made in support of the efforts by healthcare professionals against the spread of the novel coronavirus during these challenging times. According to experts, mass testing of suspected cases will have a decisive role in overcoming this situation. Tomographs make it possible to determine the condition's severity, and respirators save the lives of patients with pulmonary complications.

The decision to launch this joint action was taken on Wednesday by the banks' chairs (Octavio de Lazari Jr., Bradesco, Candido Bracher, Itaú, and Sérgio Rial, Santander Brazil) after a conversation on the best way to help mitigate the effects of this pandemic.

The first step consisted in creating a task force made up of professionals from each of the institutions that, with the guidance of the Brazilian health ministry, defined the most efficient logistic measures to import the testing kits and medical equipment.

Octavio de Lazari, chair of Bradesco, stated that the banks' decision to work together was quick and easy to make since they all defended the idea of an effective and joint response. "We are living difficult and challenging times, with complex choices. For this reason, we need to join forces to overcome this cycle of hardship. That's what our joint donation means; it's a gesture with practical effects to fight against the novel coronavirus, whose most important message is that together we're stronger than any crisis, be it the pandemic or its economic consequences", stated Lazari.

Candido Bracher noted that the current global situation demands solidarity from individuals and businesses. "The seriousness of this crisis demands that not only governments but also citizens act quickly and effectively to fight covid-19. That's why we decided to go beyond our own individual initiatives (our bank has already announced a donation through the Fundação Itaú para Educação e Cultura and Instituto Unibanco) and join forces to help even more. Protecting and supporting people, especially the most vulnerable, is the top priority for all of us at such a sensitive time", said Bracher.

Sérgio Rial stressed the importance of joining forces at such a time: "This is an exceptional time, which demands sacrifices and proactive actions that make a difference for all members of society. That's what's expected of us, as financial institutions, and that's what we wish to deliver by joining the forces of the largest private banks in the country", concluded Sérgio Rial, chair of Santander Brazil. "Large-scale support for the work of our healthcare professionals and for patients goes beyond what we can do individually, and adds to sectorial initiatives that aim to give businesses and individuals some breathing room during this critical period of our fight against the pandemic."