Bank of the Year Central America, Bank of the Year Costa Rica and Bank of the Year Guatemala: BAC Credomatic

Bank of the Year Central America, Bank of the Year Costa Rica and Bank of the Year Guatemala: BAC Credomatic

BAC Credomatic’s deepening regional presence in six Central American countries helped to boost profits in 2018 by 27% to $405 million despite sluggish economies in the region.

The bank’s assets stood at $22.7 billion. Retail credits accounted for roughly 60% of its $16.2 billion loan book with the rest largely commercial loans.

Meanwhile, deposits rose more than 9% in 2018 to $15.7 billion.

The bank’s return on equity was 15.4% at the end of last year compared with a regional average of 12.6%. BAC Credomatic’s return on assets stood at 1.8% vs. 1.3% regionally.

The bank attributes much of its success to its diversified geographical presence.

BAC Guatemala grew profits to $101 million in 2018 from $69.6 million in 2017 despite the country’s political turmoil, beating out all of Guatemala’s other banks.

BAC Costa Rica grew its 2018 net income to $115 million from $77.2 million in 2017 to cement its position as the largest private bank in the country.

BAC Costa Rica’s generated some 25% of BAC’s earnings in all of Central America. The Costa Rican bank had $4.3 billion in loans and $4.5 billion in deposits. Assets climbed to $6.3 billion at the end of 2018 from $5.9 billion a year earlier.

On the digital front, BAC Credomatic rolled out a chatbot in 2018 that interacts with customers through artificial intelligence.

Its digital bank customers stood at more than a million at the end of 2018, up 26% from 2017. The bank also deployed a new mobile app, attracting almost 800,000 customers.