Nubank makes impressive turnaround, posting $1 billion profit

Brazil’s Nubank has made a remarkable turnaround, swinging from a net loss in 2022 to a $1 billion net profit in 2023. The digital bank’s revenues have soared past $8 billion, marking a major milestone in its financial performance.


This growth has been fuelled by an aggressive customer acquisition strategy, with Nubank adding nearly 20 million customers in 2023 alone. This has brought its total customer base up to 94 million, a substantial increase from 54 million just two years prior.

The bank’s performance in the fourth quarter was particularly strong, with income reaching $360.9 million, translating to an annualized return on equity of 23%. This is a notable improvement from the $58 million profit reported in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Since its inception in 2013, Nubank has evolved into a fintech powerhouse, extending its services beyond Brazil to capture markets in Mexico and Colombia. In Mexico, the digital bank boasts around five million customers, and it has recently received regulatory approval to operate as a financing company in Colombia, further expanding its footprint in Latin America.

Nubank’s CEO David Vélez highlighted the company’s expansion plans, stating, “As we work towards surpassing the 100 million customers milestone in 2024, we are investing heavily in new growth avenues to keep transforming potential into profit.” This ambition reflects Nubank’s commitment to leveraging its expanding customer base and innovative financial solutions to drive further growth and profitability.

The fintech debuted on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021 in a listing that floated it as Latin America’s most valuable financial institution, worth $52 billion.

Nubank, which began as a zero-fee credit card managed by a mobile app, has expanded into a full-service banking entity, providing a range of services including investments and insurance.

Despite its success, the Sao Paulo-based fintech faces challenges in replicating its Brazilian model in Mexico due to cautious regulators. The company’s loan book in Mexico grew marginally in the six months to September, with a credit card market share of just over 2%.

Nubank’s default rates in Mexico are higher than average, attributed to its large number of first-time card customers. However, the company is optimistic about its growth prospects, exploring new markets in Latin America and potentially the U.S.