Brazil’s Nubank profit surges to nearly $400M in Q1 2024

Brazilian digital bank Nubank got off to a great start in 2024. The digital bank booked a $380 million net profit during the first three months of the year as it accelerated its pace of cross-selling and continued to expand its customer base.

The Latin American fintech flagship, operating in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, reported a 167% year-over-year increase in net income, up from $142 million in the year-ago quarter. While the company reported 99.3 million customers by the end of the quarter, it recently announced it had surpassed the 100 million client threshold as of this month.

Total active clients—those that generated revenue in the last 30 days—amounted to 82.6 million, almost 20 million higher than in the year-ago period. Still, the firm’s Brazilian business still accounts for the bulk of its clientele, even as it seeks to accelerate its pace of expansion overseas.

“By prioritizing rapid customer growth, as well as increasing revenue per customer and optimizing our operational costs, we achieved exceptional results,” said David Vélez, CEO and co-founder of Nubank. “While our growth rate in Brazil remains robust, we witnessed even more rapid growth in Mexico, with 1.5 million new customers added just this last quarter.”

Nubank’s operation in Mexico in Q1

CEO and co-founder David Vélez at Nubank’s NYSE IPO in 2021.

In Mexico, it reported short of 7 million clients, or a 5.1% market share considering a population of roughly 130 million. Upon securing a banking license in the country, the fintech wasted no time in rapidly expanding its suite of financial services. By March, it boasted 3.2 million credit card customers in Latin America’s second-largest economy and 3.1 million active accounts holding $2.3 billion in deposits.

“We are stepping into a new era for Nu in Mexico and are optimistic about our long-term plans in the country,” remarked Iván Canales, General Manager of Nu México. In April, the company announced its intention to bolster Nu Mexico’s equity capitalization by US$100 million, elevating its total investment in the country to over US$1.4 billion dollars.

While the company already offers credit cards, digital accounts and personal loans, it rolled out new features in the quarter. These include the initial steps toward facilitating remittances from the United States to Mexico, as well as enabling cash deposits through Soriana department stores.

Delinquencies ticking higher for Nubank in Q1

Total revenue for Nubank came 64% higher in the first quarter, amounting to $2.7 billion. The fintech is consistently growing its average revenue per customer, which is still just a fraction of what traditional well-established banks report, but with a significantly lower cost.

The digital lender’s portfolio—a vast yet largely untapped source of income for neobanks in Latin America—came slightly below $20 billion. This marks a 52% annual growth rate, fueled by credit card and personal loans. Total deposits came at $24.3 billion.

Looking ahead, persistently high interest rates and stubborn inflation across Latin America continue to pressure delinquency metrics. The fintech reported a slight uptick in non-performing loans, with 90-day ratios in Brazil climbing to 6.3% from 5.5% compared to the previous year. In response to this, the company expanded its credit loss allowance to $830.7 million, nearly double the amount from the year-ago period, reflecting its portfolio growth during the period.

  • David Feliba

    David is a Latin American journalist. He reports regularly on the region for global news organizations such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Financial Times, and Americas Quarterly.

    He has worked for S&P Global Market Intelligence as a LatAm financial reporter and has built expertise on fintech and market trends in the region.

    He lives in Buenos Aires.