Bank of the Year 2018 -- Costa Rica: Banco Popular

Bank of the Year 2018 -- Costa Rica: Banco Popular

Long a leader in innovative local currency financing in Central America and the Caribbean, Costa Rica’s Banco Popular grew its total assets by 2.9% to 4.7 billion colones ($8.1 million) in the first half of 2018, adding to two-year growth of 9.6%. With loans, retail banking and insurance, the bank logged growth rates that run in parallel with the local economy.

Banco Popular stuck to a conservative lending strategy this year, reducing its loan portfolio and adding 2 billion colones to its cash reserves. The decision to cut back on new loans came as the government suspended three directors at Banco Popular and Costa Rica’s banking sector experienced a general decline.

Banco Popular’s ability to introduce new products and seek diverse sources of funding in a difficult year make it the winner of the award for Bank of the Year in Costa Rica.

Despite the difficulties, Banco Popular was one of the first banks to offer eco-financing in Costa Rica, offering loans for up to 12 years for environmentally sound products and equipment. It also led the charge in digital banking in Costa Rica with its three apps, BP Promociones, Banca Móvil and BP Venta de Bienes. LF