The Banco Comercial do Atlântico (BCA) was established on September 1, 1993, as a result of a separation between the commercial and supervisory departments, which since September 29, 1975 had been administered by the Banco de Cabo Verde (BCV). BCV began exercising the role of a Central Bank in1993.
BCA is a public limited liability company made up exclusively of public funds established by Decree-Law No. 43/93 dated July 16, with an initial investment of 500,000,000CVE (five hundred million escudos). On the exact same day, Decree-Law No. 44/93 created the installing committee. It was comprised of five (5) members, including a chairperson, appointed by the Minister of Finance.
The bank's first board of directors began functioning on September 1, 1993. The following individuals have chaired the Board of Directors:
From 1993 to 1995 - Amelia Maria Figueiredo St'Aubyn
From 1995 to 1997 - João Higino do Rosário
From 1997 to 2000 - Adalberto Higino Silva
From 2000 to 2006 - Antonio Miguel Ornela Afonso
From 2006 to 2010 - João Henrique Real Pereira
From 2010 to 2013 - Antonio Joaquim Sousa
From 2013 to Present - Jose Antonio Castro Guerra
Decree-Law No 70/98 dated December 31 authorized a partial sales of the state owned shares of the Banco Comercial do Atlântico. Resolution No. 74/98 passed on the same date, approved the international tender guideline for the purchase of said shares, as well as the selection for strategic partners for the development of the country?s financial institutions.
As part of this negotiation a strategic partner, constituted by Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD)/Banco Interatlântico Grouping, was chosen. In February 2000, the Group purchased 52.5% of BCA?s shares.
The same year, on November 27 the state of Cape Verde sold 25% of its stake in "special stock market session" to small investors and bank employees, thereby fulfilling the second phase of the privatization process.
Hence, the Cape Verdean financial sector changed either by direct or indirect acquisition of major shares by the Caixa Geral de Depósitos/Banco Interatlântico Grouping of the Banco Comercial do Atlântico, Garantia (insurance company) and Promotora (venture capital society).
Thus, the largest financial group in the country was created, which has allowed greater synergies in these institutions? activities.
On December 31,2012, BCA?s capital amounted to 1.324.765.000 (one thousand three hundred and twenty four million, seven hundred and sixty five thousand escudos) and was held by the equity shareholders of Caixa Geral de Depósitos/Banco Interatlântico Grouping, Garantia ?Insurance Company of Cape Verde, LLC and the State of Cape Verde.
BCA's shares are currently distributed as follows:
- 525,000 shares, the equivalent of 52.5% belonging to Caixa Geral de Depósitos, LPC Grouping/ Banco Interatlântico LLC;
- 125,000 shares, corresponding to 12.52% owned by Garantia, LLC;
- 100,000 shares, representing 10% owned by the State of Cape Verde;
- 2,170 shares, corresponding to 2.17% belonging to the Airport and Air Security, LPC;
- 2,410 shares, corresponding to 2.41% belonging to BCA?s employees and 20,260 shares the equivalent of 20.26% belonging to other shareholders.
When BCA took over the commercial operations of BCV, the banking distribution network had only 12 branches:
Ribeira Grande Porto Novo in Santo Antao, São Vicente, São Nicolau, Sal, Boavista, Maio, Fogo and Brava, Praia, Santa Catarina and Tarrafal in Santiago, 3 representing offices in Mosteiros, Fogo, Tarrafal, São Nicolau and at Amilcar Cabral International Airport, Sal.
Over the years, BCA has grown significantly extending to 33 branches. Since 1999, the bank has been investing in new technologies and introducing automatic teller machines (ATMs), as options to diversify the distribution channels.
In recent years there has been significant growth driven by both the increased use of new technologies by the Cape Verdean society, as well as the bank's strategies to promote online services.
In 2012, a large number of transactions were done electronically. In terms of debit cards (Vinti4), BCA issued 33,814, 443 (-1%) less than in 2011 and witnessed an increase of 1,223 (+ 3%) cards in-use, in comparison to the previous year. Concerning Visa cards, there were 3,535 cards issued, representing 87% increase from 2011. This was mainly due to the issuance of 2,565 Visa Flex cards, which in itself represented an increase of 56%.