Banco de Credito del Peru’s return on equity for the first half of 2019 hovered at more than 20%, the highest among Peruvian banks. Meanwhile, its net earnings in the first quarter rose 11.4%, and its loan portfolio increased by an impressive 9.3%.
A recent report by Fitch credited the Lima-based bank, Peru’s largest lender with more than a third of the country’s loan book, for its conservative underwriting and sound risk controls, pointing out that Banco de Credito’s loan quality improved during 2018, with past due loans dropping to 2.2% of its loan portfolio at the end of 2018 from 2.5% a year earlier.
In addition, the ratings agency said bank’s loan loss reserves stood at twice the value of loans that were 90 days past due at the end of last year.
Fitch also pointed out that Banco de Credito’s “sustained profitability and reasonable earnings retention” has benefited its capital position with its Tier 1 capital ratio growing over the past four years.
The bank’s core ratio of operating profit to risk weighted assets compares better than other regional peers, according to Fitch, which also pointed out that the bank has a diversified and low cost deposit base, largely made up of demand and savings deposits.
In the second quarter, the bank’s profits rose 11.3% from the same period a year earlier.
Peru’s banking industry has traditionally benefitted from the government’s market-friendly economic policies.
The country’s relatively strong growth in the region has also helped, though Fitch warned in a recent report that the current political crisis could undermine the economy. President Martin Vizcarra dissolved Congress in September after lawmakers refused to call new parliamentary elections.