The Dominican Republic’s Banreservas has never been better off than it is today.
Loans and deposits were up by double digits in the 12 months ending in June and net profits jumped by 35.4% year-on-year. The bank set a new record for the country’s financial system, with assets blowing past the 1 trillion peso mark ($18 billion) last year, reaching $20.7 billion at the end of June.
“The indicators speak for themselves. These are milestones achieved by efficient and correct management of resources,” says José Obregón, the bank’s international business director.
Obregón says Banreservas has solidified its position as the largest bank in the Dominican Republic and the broader Caribbean and is beginning to rival some of South America’s banks in terms of assets.
“We are a bank that Dominicans know and associate with the country’s development, whether sponsoring baseball championships or providing loans for agriculture,” he says.
While the bank continues to expand physically, growth is no longer limited only to the island, says Obregón. Banreservas has launched a new project, the Silueta Project, to expand its footprint in Central America, Europe and the United States.
Obregón says that 20% of the Dominican population, about 2.2 million people, lives abroad and “meeting the needs of the diaspora has always been part of our strategy. Now, we are making this easier.”
Banreservas opened an office in Madrid, Spain in January 2023, the first Dominican bank with a presence in Europe. In June, it received final approval from the U.S. Federal Reserve to open two branches in the United States, one in Miami and the other in New York. It is waiting for approval to open in Panama.
Cristal Lizardo, in charge of correspondent banking operations, says that while other banks in the region expanded internationally, they have done this by acquiring other institutions. She said Banreservas is growing its footprint organically, identifying where it can best serve Dominicans.
The overseas branches give the bank an even better opportunity to capture remittances sent home by Dominicans. Remittances amounted to $7.6 billion between January and September of this year and the Central Bank calculates that they will top $10 billion for the full year. It is a huge injection into the economy, following only tourism as a source of revenue. Tourism brought in $16.7 billion in 2022, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council.
The bank is also heavily involved in supporting tourism, providing more than $650 million in loans for tourism projects in 2022.
“Loans to tourism represent the bank’s full commitment to the country’s most important economic sector. It is a sign that will continue to play a central role in the Dominican Republic’s development,” Obregón says.