Supporting small businesses in the post pandemic era
Banks played a vital role in cushioning the dire economic impact of Covid-19, and Banco de
Reservas de la República Dominicana (Banreservas) is no exception.
Banreservas’s lending to SMEs, which form the backbone of the economy, helped them survive
the financial stress caused by the pandemic. A bank survey of SME owners and managers
showed that 74% of respondents had to close their businesses during the pandemic, while 26%
said they had to scale back their operations.
As part of its response to the crisis, the bank designed a virtual payment instrument that
customers could use to pay for basic needs at stores. More than 700,000 beneficiaries and
almost 4,400 grocery stores, warehouses, supermarkets, and department stores accepted this
digital card as a means of payment.
Banreservas’s efforts to help small businesses in the post-pandemic era secured it the
LatinFinance award for SME Bank of the Year.
During the past year, the bank has focused on strengthening its value proposition for SMEs and
commercial clients, focusing specifically on its mobile channels. It has enhanced functionality
such as mass authorizations, integration across the bank’s channels, making it easier for SMEs
and corporate customers to use its services, Banreservas says.
Such initiatives helped increase its SME loan portfolio by 18.7% in the first half of the year to
reach $1.1 billion.
The lender’s general director for international business, José Obregon, also highlights the
importance of Banreservas’ annual export fair for SMEs.
Since 2017, it has held the annual “Expo Fomenta Pymes” during the first four months of the
year. Obregon adds that bank officials travel every week to all provinces to provide support for
In 2022 through the Expo, Banreservas disbursed 2084 loans, amounting $124 million,
benefiting SMEs from multiple sectors, including tourism, construction, commerce, education,
health, social services, industrial, agriculture and livestock.