Banco de Reservas cemented its status as largest bank in the Dominican Republic over the past year, improving market participation in both retail and commercial businesses. It is the country’s biggest commercial lender, with a 39.6% market share. It increased returns, with net profits of 6.758 billion Dominican pesos ($149 million), a growth of 10.7%. The bank’s return on equity grew 9.2% year on year while its pool of assets grew 13.1% to reach 365 billion pesos. 

The efforts paid off, with agency Feller Rate lifting Banco de Reservas’ local long-term ratings to AA from AA- in September. The upgrade rewards the bank’s increasingly solid credit fundamentals, resulting from a strategic change that started in 2013. The bank, keeping its mandate of promel saloting development and enjoying full support from the state, has strengthened relationships with the private sector, boosting the corporate financing side of business. 

“Management concentrated on improving business processes, while continuing to increase commercial and retail private sector market penetration through cross-sell initiatives and structuring high-value transactions through its investment banking and capital markets units,” Enrique Ramírez, chief executive officer of BanReservas, tells LatinFinance. “We will continue to focus on maintaining a high quality loan book, concentrating on A and B rated customers allowing the bank to increase its financial performance while maintaining high asset quality and non-performing loan coverage. The bank will continue strengthening its capitalization by increasing its tier one capital going forward.”

BanReservas kept its financials strong while modernizing its physical branches and online offering. It revamped its online banking platform to enhance the customer experience, while growing its distribution network to 272 branches and service centers and 518 ATMs, Ramírez says.

“The bank also regained its leadership in commercial and retail banking by transforming 216 branches to the new business model, ‘Focus 360’. This resulted in a 33% growth on its retail loan portfolio, and represented an increase of 132% in credit card issuance,” says Ramírez.

The bank has maintained a strong social agenda, fulfilling its mandate of supporting development. It expanded its financial inclusion program, introduced a program to support entrepreneurship and created a tourism business unit to help expediting hospitality projects, contributing to the country’s goal of attracting ten million tourists by 2020.  

“BanReservas’ strategy is to channel its franchise strengths on supporting key economic sectors that advance the country’s economic development agenda, including tourism, exports, infrastructure, agriculture and education sectors,” Ramírez says. LF

WINNER: Banco de Reservas