This year, LatinFinance has selected Banco General as bank of the year in Panama. While other big Panamanian banks aim to become regional players, Banco General has decided to expand and deepen its domestic franchise. It leads in both consumer and corporate lending.
General, the country's second-largest private sector bank, was established in 1955.
It posted a 2002 return on equity of 16.7%, beating its main competitor, Primer Banco del Istmo, which turned in an ROE of 14.1%. Banco General, with assets of $2.4 billion, posted net income of $52.9 million in 2002.
Francisco Sierra, executive vice-president of finance at Banco General, says the bank has focused on its domestic market inst
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