November 8, 2018
Retail banking in a strong economy provides a robust formula for this winner
Itaú Paraguay held on to the top spot in the local banking market and ended last year as the most profitable bank in the country.
Paraguay’s economic backdrop has been a boon for banks in the country, where GDP has expanded an average of 4.5% per year for the past five years, despite turbulence in its two largest regional trading partners, Argentina and Brazil.
Itaú has maintained a diverse business in both consumer and commercial banking with strong operating margins, according to the ratings agency Feller Rate.
Itaú Paraguay CEO Viviana Varas says the bank has adapted to challenges including regulatory changes for banking commissions and credit cards. “Itaú continues to deliver high returns and is seeing growth across all of our segments,” she says.
The bank has made a big push in building its digital offering and in 2017 registered more banking transactions through its digital channels than in its bank branches.
“The sales of our banking products through digital grew 180% last year,” Varas says. Varas hopes the digital push will help grow the bank’s consumer sector next year. “Our goal is to be the best bank in terms of client satisfaction and digitalization in 2019,” she says. LF