Awards for Excellence 2021: Best bank in Colombia
Best Bank: Banco de Bogotá
According to Banco de Bogotá’s chief executive, Alejandro Figueroa, last year was the toughest in the bank’s 150-year history. However, his firm proved itself up to the task.
In the midst of the economic challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic the bank grew aggressively. Assets increased by 19%, loans by 16.6% and deposits by a mighty 25%. These results consolidate its position at the top of the consumer banking industry, with a market share of 53.2% and a ROE of 10.7% – compared with Bancolombia’s 3.4% and Davivienda’s 1.9%. A return on assets (ROA) of 2.1% confirms the bank as the most profitable in Colombia. It also reported a NIM of 5.4% and its efficiency ratio dipped under 50% by 20 basis points.
Banco de Bogotá is also focusing on the future with twin strategies in digitization and sustainability.
In the former, it introduced initiatives to drive purely online sales, with new products in payroll, micro loans and debt consolidation added to the bank’s digital suite in 2020. It also increased digital penetration. Around 66% of new saving accounts are generated digitally and the numbers are even better for new loans (70%) and credit cards (80%). In the year to December 2020 it increased the number of digital users by 24.3%.
Meanwhile, 2020 saw it issue its first Ps300 billion ($82.1 million) green bond, which was three times oversubscribed. It says the bond will facilitate the absorption of sustainability goals throughout the organization.
Also – outside Colombia but an important transaction for the bank nonetheless – Banco de Bogotá closed its acquisition of Multibank Panama, but not before renegotiating the agreed 2019 sale price down 39% to reflect the new financial reality created by the pandemic.