Our History
Our History


Our History 

BCP was incorporated on June 17, 1985, as a limited liability company ("sociedade anónima") organised under the Portuguese laws, following the deregulation of the Portuguese banking industry. BCP was founded by a group of over 200 shareholders and a team of experienced banking professionals who sought to capitalise on the opportunity to form an independent financial institution that would serve the then underdeveloped Portuguese financial market more effectively than the state-owned banks.

While the Bank's development was initially characterised by organic growth, a series of strategic acquisitions helped to solidify its position in the Portuguese market and increase its offering of financial products and services. In March 1995, BCP acquired the control of Banco Português do Atlântico, S.A. ("Atlântico"), which was then the largest private sector bank in Portugal, and that was followed by a joint takeover bid for the whole share capital of Atlântico. In June 2000, Atlântico was merged into BCP, whereby in the same year BCP also acquired Império, along with Banco Mello and Banco Pinto & Sotto Mayor

In 2004, BCP, with the aim of increasing its focus on the core business of financial products distribution and optimise capital consumption, sold insurers Império Bonança, Seguro Directo, Impergesto and Servicomercial to Caixa Geral de Depósitos group. BCP also entered into agreements with Fortis (now named Ageas) for the management control of insurers Ocidental - Companhia Portuguesa de Seguros, S.A., Ocidental - Companhia Portuguesa de Seguros de Vida, S.A. and Médis - Companhia Portuguesa de Seguros de Saúde, S.A., as well as the pension fund manager PensõesGere - Sociedade Gestora de Fundos de Pensões, SA.

In 2004, the Bank sold its non-life insurance businesses and divested a portion of its life insurance business by entering a joint venture with Ageas (formerly Fortis), named Millenniumbcp Ageas, of which 51% is held by Ageas and 49% by the Bank.

The Bank, after the consolidation of its position in the Portuguese banking market, focused on developing its retail business in other geographies, with the aim of attaining significant positions, by replicating its successful Portuguese business model in emerging markets in Europe and in Africa. The Bank concentrated on businesses with strong growth prospects in foreign markets with a close historical connection to Portugal or that have large Portuguese origin communities (such as Angola, Mozambique, the United States, Canada, France, Luxembourg and Macao), as well as in markets where the Bank's business model could be exported to meet the specific needs of each geography (such as Poland, Greece and Romania).

The Bank has implemented a consistent market segmentation strategy and, until 2003, these segments were served through autonomous distribution networks operating under a variety of brand names. In October 2003, BCP began the process of replacing these brands in Portugal with a single brand name: Millennium bcp. The rebranding in other markets was completed in 2006, with all banking operations controlled by BCP being developed under the "Millennium" brand. In Portugal, BCP Group also operates under the "ActivoBank" brand.

Over the last few years, the Bank has refocused on operations that it considers core to its business development. As part of this refocus, the Bank divested several of its international operations (in France, Luxembourg, United States, Canada, Greece, Turkey and Romania), while retaining commercial protocols to facilitate remittances from Portuguese emigrants in some markets. In 2010, the Bank transformed its Macao off-shore branch into an on-shore branch.

In February 2012, the Bank adopted a management restructuring through the introduction of a one-tier management and supervisory model, in which the Board of Directors includes an Executive Committee and an Audit Committee (the latter composed of non-executive members and with a majority of independent members, in accordance with the applicable law).

In December 2012, the Bank prepared and presented to the Portuguese government a Restructuring Plan, as required by national law and by the applicable European rules on matters of state aid. The Restructuring Plan was formally submitted by the Portuguese government to the European Commission and, in July 2013, the Bank agreed on the plan with the European Commission entailing an improvement of the Bank in Portugal profitability through continued cost reduction, among other drivers. On September 2013, the DG Competition announced its formal agreement with the Portuguese authorities regarding the Bank's Restructuring Plan. Pursuant to the decision, the Bank's Restructuring Plan was considered in compliance with the European Union state aid rules, demonstrating the Bank's viability without continued state support. The implemented Restructuring Plan aimed to strengthen the Bank's strategy by focusing on its core activities.

In May 2014, as part of a process aimed at refocusing on core activities defined as priorities in its Strategic Plan, the Bank announced that it agreed with the international insurance group Ageas a partial recast of the strategic partnership agreements signed in 2004, which included the sale of its 49% interest in the insurance companies that operate exclusively in the non-life insurance business, i.e. Ocidental - Companhia Portuguesa de Seguros, SA and Médis - Companhia Portuguesa de Seguros de Saúde, SA.

In April 2016, the Bank announced the conclusion of the merger between Banco Millennium Angola, SA and Banco Privado Atlântico, SA, resulting in the second-largest private sector bank in Angola in terms of loans to the economy, with a market share of approximately 10% in business volumes. The entity resulting from this merger ceased to be controlled by BCP.

In January 2017, BCP announced a Euros 1.3bn rights issue with transferable pre-emptive subscription rights with preference for current shareholders. The aim of this transaction was to bring forward the full repayment of remaining Government Subscribed Securities and the removal of key state aid related restrictions, including the dividend ban, the potential risk of core businesses’ sale and the tail risk of conversion. This transaction was designed to strengthen the balance sheet through the improvement of CET1 fully implemented and Texas ratio, aligning BCP with sector benchmarks and placing it above current regulatory requirements.

On December 27, 2019, the merger deed of Banco de Investimento Imobiliário, SA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Banco Comercial Português, SA, was signed by incorporation into the latter.

On August 27, 2019, the Extraordinary General Meeting of Bank Millennium S.A., in which 216 shareholders representing 78.53% of its share capital participated, approved the merger of Bank Millennium S.A. with Euro Bank S.A.. The integration of Eurobank S.A. into Bank Millennium S.A. was completed in November, with the Bank resulting from the merger operating under a single brand, a single operating system and a single legal entity.

On June 29, 2021, BCP entered into an agreement with Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA, regarding the sale of the entire share capital of Banque Privée BCP (Suisse) SA ("Banque Privée"). The sale of the entire share capital of Banque Privée BCP (Suisse) SA ("Banque Privée") to Union Bancaire Privée, UBP SA, was completed on November 2, 2021. The sale of Banque Privée allowed BCP Group to pursue its strategy of focusing resources and management on core geographies, enhancing their development and, thus, enhancing value for stakeholders.

On December 29, 2021, BIM - Banco Internacional de Moçambique, SA (a bank incorporated under Mozambican law in which BCP indirectly holds a stake of 66.69%) formalized the entry into force of a long-term agreement with Fidelidade - Companhia de Seguros, SA, with a view to strengthen capabilities and expand the insurance offer in the banking channel (bancassurance) in Mozambique. Under this partnership, the possibility of which was provided for in the memorandum of understanding signed between BCP and the Fosun Group in November 2016, BIM and Fidelidade also formalized the sale by BIM to Fidelidade of shares representing 70% of the share capital and voting rights of Seguradora Internacional de Moçambique, SA, with BIM maintaining approximately 22% of its share capital. BIM and Fidelidade also agreed on call and put options with a view to enable Fidelidade to acquire additional shares, and BIM's shareholding, as a result of these options, may be reduced to 9.9% of SIM's capital. Under the long-term exclusive distribution agreement, BIM will promote the distribution of SIM insurance through the banking channel, continuing to provide its customers with a wide range of competitive insurance products, which is reinforced by the partnership with Fidelidade, a reference insurance group.

In the 1st half of 2023, Bank Millennium SA completed the sale of 80% of Millennium Financial Services stake as a result of the strategic partnership in the bancassurance business.​​​