BBVA Banco Continental
The biggest and most profitable bank in Peru, by some margin, is Banco de Crédito del Peru (BCP). But BBVA Banco Continental had an excellent 2004 and wins our best bank award this year. The bank brought its efficiency ratio down to 40.1% in the first quarter of 2005, while at the same time being the only big bank with a triple-A local credit rating on long-term deposits. By the end of the first quarter, Continental's return on average equity was 20.67%, compared with BCP's 16.78%, and its return on average assets was 1.9% to BCP's 1.77%. For calendar 2004, the difference is even starker: Continental's RoE and RoA were 17.79% and 1.69% respectively, compared with BCP's 13.2% and 1.47%. Continental's strategy of steady, organic growth seems to be paying off.