Bank of the Year El Salvador: Banco Cuscatlán
October 31, 2019
After a rebranding, the branch network expects to step up expansion — and profitability
Banco Cuscatlán relaunched in June 2016 after Grupo Terra acquired Banco Citibank El Salvador and rebranded it.
Now it appears Cuscatlán is ready to take on the country’s other big banks. In December 2018, the bank led all other Salvadoran banks with a 11% net margin.
With a 18% share of the El Salvador market and a return on equity of just 4.5%, its goal is to improve performance and eventually to capture 25% of the local market through a wider menu or products and expanded digital platforms.
On the traditional banking front, Cuscatlán plans to expand its branch network of full service and mini branches to 63 by 2021 from 58 in 2019, which will give it nationwide penetration.
This expansion will also help increase its ATM network to 258 by 2021 from 226 this year. That would make it the third largest in the country.
The bank is moving aggressively on the digital front. The central bank estimates that half of banking customers in El Salvador will be digital users by 2012 2022, compared to 20% this year. When it comes to mobile technology, the central bank believes 35% of bank customers will access bank services with their smart phones by 2021, compared to 14% this year.
Cuscatlán’s recent digital strategy can be traced to 2018 when it launched enhanced digital platforms, including a more responsive website and apps for Android and iPhones. Customers no longer need to visit branches for most services.
The bank expects to expand its digital capabilities even more by allowing customers to interact with chats on Facebook and WhatsApp.