1981, October - Launch of SPI - Sociedade Portuguesa de Investimentos

Sociedade Portuguesa de Investimentos was conceived in 1981 with a well-defined project for a decade that had just started: to finance investment projects launched by the private sector, to participate in the creation of a dynamic capital market and to contribute to the country's industrial modernisation. BPI counted on a diversified shareholder base that included a strong domestic component, represented by 100 of the most dynamic companies in the country, and five of the most prominent international financial institutions.

1985, March - Incorporation of BPI - Banco Português de Investimento

SPI was transformed into an investment bank in 1985, thereby allowing it to attract sight and term deposits, grant short-term loans, participate in the interbank markets and engage in currency operations. A year later, in 1986, the bank's future direction was marked by the opening of its capital to the general public and the listing of its shares on the Lisbon and Oporto Stock Exchanges.

1991, August - Acquisition of Banco Fonsecas & Burnay

In 1991, a decade after its formation, BPI had already conquered an undisputed leadership in the principal areas of Investment Banking, playing a major role that gained further momentum as the decade advanced thanks to the privatisation programme in Portugal, and assumed its ambition to consolidate its position as one of the country's premier financial groups. It was in this spirit that it resolved to acquire Banco Fonsecas & Burnay, thereby marking BPI's entry into the Commercial Banking arena, affording it a substantial gain in size in preparation for the corporate concentration process in the Portuguese financial system.

It was the Group's overriding objective to guarantee the provision of a complete range of financial services to companies and individuals alike. An alliance was then forged with the Itaú Group, initially through its equity participation in BFB. In 1993, this interest was converted into a direct shareholding in BPI, following which Banco Itaú became one of the key shareholders.

1995, November - Creation of the banking holding BPI SGPS

The Institution's composition was reorganised in 1995: the original BPI was transformed into an SGPS (holding company), following which it became the only Group company to be listed on the stock exchange, controlling Banco Fonsecas & Burnay and Banco Português de Investimento, formed in the meantime through the transfer of the assets and liabilities allocated to the business activity traditionally conducted by this type of institution and hitherto undertaken by BPI.

This reorganisation precipitated the specialisation of the Group's various units and was accompanied by an important reinforcement of its shareholder structure with the entry of two new strategic partners of considerable size to team up with the Itaú Group: La Caja de Ahorros y Pensiones de Barcelona ("La Caixa"), and the German insurance group Allianz.

1996, October - Acquisition of Banco de Fomento e Exterior and Banco Borges & Irmão
1998, July - Creation of Banco BPI through the merger of the Group's four commercial banks

A year later (in 1996) the acquisition of Banco de Fomento and Banco Borges marked the beginning of the process involving the integration of the BPI Group's three banks that would culminate, two years later, with the creation of Banco.

BPI, providing it with the largest single-brand banking network in Portugal. Banco BPI was formed in 1998 by the merging of Banco Fonsecas & Burnay (BFB), Banco de Fomento e Exterior (BFE) and Banco Borges & Irmão (BBI), to be joined later that year by Banco Universo (an in-store bank), acquired in the meantime. After the merger, the structure was significantly simplified: BPI SGPS now comprises just two banking institutions: Banco Português de Investimento, named BPI ? Investimentos, and a new commercial bank called Banco BPI.

1999-2001 - Growth, modernisation and structural reinforcement

The next three years - 1999 to 2001 - have confirmed BPI's potential for growth, modernisation and structural reinforcement engendered by the 1998 merger: the Group has boosted market shares in all the key areas of commercial banking, it has expanded and streamlined its distribution structure, rapidly transforming itself into a multi-channel bank, it has thoroughly renovated its technological capability and built up one of the financial system's most dynamic brand names.

2002-2005 - Internal reorganisation

In 2002, BPI concluded an important reorganisation programme that endowed the Group with a much simpler legal configuration, more attuned to its business model and more conducive to the obtainment of cost savings and efficiency gains in the Group's functioning. In essence, the programme involved the centralisation at Banco BPI of commercial banking business and the concentration at Banco de Investimento of its natural business. BPI SGPS incorporated Banco BPI and simultaneously its business object was altered to embrace Commercial Banking, adopting the name Banco BPI and assuming the command position at the helm of the whole Group. Banco de Fomento was formed in Angola in the wake of the transformation of Banco BPI's Luanda branch into a fully-fledged Angolan-law bank.

At the same time, BPI intensified the programme directed at the rationalisation, rejuvenation and qualification of its human resources, the upgrading of its technology, the streamlining of its distribution channels and boosting Brand development. This process is constantly evolving and seeks to reinforce in a decisive manner the essential skills required to affirm the goals that form the springboard for the Bank's plans for the future: efficiency, quality and service.

In 2004, Artur Santos Silva, BPI's founder and leader from its first hour, ceased executive functions, retaining the chairmanship of the Board of Directors.


In October 2006, BPI completed 25 years of activity (taking as the reference the formation of SPI - Sociedade Portuguesa de Investimentos, in 1981). May 2007 saw the unsuccessful conclusion of the hostile takeover bid launched for the Bank in March 2006 - accepted by a mere 3.9% of BPI's capital -, and which was unanimously rejected from the outset by the Bank's Board of Directors, considering it to be "totally unacceptable". BPI thus pursued its sustained strategy of creating value for Shareholders, Employees and Customers, the merit of which is objectively expressed in the annual average return of 16% on BPI shares since its foundation up till the end of the 2007 financial year.