March 7, 2018 |
In 2017, Colombia’s banks struggled to turn in good results as lethargic economic growth and a sales tax hike flattened consumption, limited credit demand and put the squeeze on margins.
In the wholesale banking sector, several large corporate borrowers failed to make their loan payments, which forced banks to set more money aside to handle a rise in non-performing loans. Elsewhere, shockwaves from the Odebrecht scandal put the brakes on project finance, an area where Colombia’s banks had looked to lend sizeable sums for the 4G toll road concessions program.
“2017 was a difficult year for the economic situation,” says Banco de Bogotá CFO María Luisa Rojas Giraldo. “But there is more optimism
After a couple of tough years, Colombia’s banking sector expects to return to higher rates of growth in 2018, although it knows it is unlikely to match results from the first half of the decade.