November 7, 2017 |
Few banks in Paraguay are as closely tied to the country’s agricultural sector as Banco Regional. The bank, the country’s third largest by market share of deposits, ranks among the leading lenders to the agriculture business in the world’s fourth largest soy exporter.
But when commodity prices fell sharply and the local guarani currency weakened against the dollar, the bank saw its loan book fall by 7.6% in 2016 compared to 15% growth a year earlier.
The bank moved quickly to work with its clients who were grappling with the changing economic reality. As it helped restructure loans, Banco Regional was able to hold problem loans to just 2% last year, compared to the systemwide average of 2.
Working with clients allows this year’s winner to keep bad loans in check as the country’s agriculture market falters.