2017 Banks of the Year Awards

Leading banks in Latin America and the Caribbean pursue assorted strategies as the region emerges from an economic slowdown. Some turn to M&A, while others focus on building their loan books, but all have growth in mind.

When times are good, growth in Latin America’s banking sector generally follows two paths. A bank can grow through acquisitions, gaining a bunch of new customers in a single swoop, or it can ride the wave and build up its credit portfolio. But when times are bad, a bank can score a small victory by simply maintaining its existing market share.

In LatinFinance’s Banks of the Year awards for this year, we recognize the banks that made transformational acquisitions, such as Itaú Unibanco in Brazil, Santander Río in Argentina and Ficohsa in Honduras. We also recognize the banks that logged impressive loan growth in sluggish markets, such as Banco de Bogotá in Colombia, Produbanco in Ecuador and BROU in Uruguay. And finally, we recognize the banks that stood firm in a down year, like Interbank in Peru, Banco Regional in Paraguay and Republic Bank in Trinidad & Tobago.

After several years of economic doldrums, Latin America and the Caribbean, on the whole, are growing again. Now the region’s banks are betting on a wider range of digital services and loan products to support growth in the years to come. In Brazil and Colombia, rising volumes of local bond issues will help investment banking businesses there. In Argentina, Bolivia and the Dominican Republic, more mortgage loans will add to the retail credit portfolios of commercial banks. In Central America, where economic growth is expected to approach 4% in 2018, banks remain focused on expanding personal loans.

The editorial team at LatinFinance considered all these factors when selecting the winners for Banks of the Year 2107. We started with a list of the largest banks by assets in each country and then examined their financial results from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017, sought input from market analysts and reviewed supporting documents from the financial institutions themselves. For the investment banks, league tables of the major participants in the equity, bond and loan markets served as the starting point. LF


Bank of the Year
Itaú Unibanco

Santander Río

Mercantil Santa Cruz

Itaú Unibanco

Brazil Investment Bank
Itaú BBA


Central America


Chile Investment Bank
Banchile Citi

Banco de Bogotá

Colombia Investment Bank

Costa Rica
BAC San José

Dominican Republic


El Salvador
Banco Agrícola

Banco Industrial


National Commercial Bank

BBVA Bancomer

Mexico Investment Bank


Banco Lafise

Banco General

Banco Regional


Trinidad & Tobago
Republic Bank




LatinFinance's Banks of the Year Awards for 2017 celebrate the financial institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean that have demonstrated excellence in retail, commercial and investment services between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017.


  1. Bank of the Year
  2. Bank of the Year Mexico
  3. Bank of the Year Brazil
  4. Bank of the Year Argentina
  5. Bank of the Year Colombia
  6. Bank of the Year Venezuela
  7. Bank of the Year Peru
  8. Bank of the Year Chile
  9. Bank of the Year Ecuador
  10. Bank of the Year Uruguay
  11. Bank of the Year Paraguay
  12. Bank of the Year Bolivia
  13. Bank of the Year Panama
  14. Bank of the Year Central America
  15. Bank of the Year Guatemala
  16. Bank of the Year Costa Rica
  17. Bank of the Year El Salvador
  18. Bank of the Year Honduras
  19. Bank of the Year Nicaragua
  20. Bank of the Year Dominican Republic
  21. Bank of the Year Caribbean
  22. Bank of the Year Trinidad and Tabago
  23. Bank of the Year Jamaica
  24. Investment Bank of the Year Brazil
  25. Investment Bank of the Year Mexico
  26. Investment Bank of the Year Colombia
  27. Investment Bank of the Year Chile
  28. Multilateral Development Bank of the Year
  29. Microfinance Institution of the Year


The awards are judged on three factors:

  1. Financial data for banks over the reference period (including but not limited to total assets, capital ratio, return on equity, return on assets)
  2. Market opinion including analyst and rating agency comment 
  3. LatinFinance editorial evaluation

Selection Process

Nominations from banks, opinion and analysis from the market and financial data inform LatinFinance's editorial evaluation on the awards.


Financial institutions are encouraged to send details supporting their candidacy for the awards, although such material is not required to be considered for the awards. Any pitches must include a completed nomination sheet, in addition to any supporting document.

Institutions are asked to outline qualitative information describing the ways in which the institution has grown, achieved success, and stayed ahead of the competition, as well as any other relevant quantitative data.

Investment banking submissions and multilateral development bank submissions are advised to demonstrate excellence through reference to specific transactions, and in comparison to their peers.

Microfinance institutions are advised to place weight on describing how they innovated and achieved success in sustainably fostering broader financial inclusion in the region.

All pitches must include a completed nomination sheet, in addition to any supporting documentation.

Pitches and nominations should be sent to awards@latinfinance.com by 5pm ET on Friday August 4, 2017.

LatinFinance editorial staff will be available for meetings and conference calls to discuss the shortlists and supporting documents between July 24 and August 4, 2017.

Market opinion

LatinFinance will consult a range of market participants to gain perspective on the shortlist, including portfolio managers, credit analysts and other market participants.

Market opinions are kept strictly confidential and will not be disclosed.

Examination of financial data

LatinFinance will review official financial data for each of the shortlisted or nominated banks, and speak to analysts and other third parties about the institutions. As is relevant in each category, sources will include, but will not be limited to: banks' pitches, financial reports and accounts, company presentations, stock exchange filings, LatinFinance reporting.

Data will include but not be limited to: capitalization levels, total asset numbers, return on assets and return on equity, transaction details.

Editorial evaluation

LatinFinance's editorial team will supplement their examination of financial data and information from pitch documents and meetings with information from bank analysts and clients. This will be sourced through a review of analyst reports and in-depth telephone interviews with bank analysts.

The editorial team retains discretion over the final allocation of awards in each category. The final decision will be based on information supplied in pitch documents and meetings or calls, research of financial data and analysis, interviews, and our knowledge of markets and activity over the course of the past 12 months.


Enquiries can be sent to awards@latinfinance.com with "Banks of the Year 2017" in the subject line.


The winners of 2017 Banks of the Year Awards will be revealed in LatinFinance's November/December issue.

Previous winners: 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2016, 2015