Awards for Excellence 2009: Costa Rica
Best Bank: Scotiabank de Costa Rica
In 2006, Scotiabank bought 99.99% of Interfin, the largest privately owned bank in Costa Rica. By the end of 2008, Scotia had rebranded Interfin and merged its small middle-market Costa Rican operation with Interfin’s more commercially focused banking unit. Scotia took the opportunity to upgrade its technology during the merger. Now Luis Liberman, arguably one of the most respected bankers in Costa Rica, is turning Scotiabank de Costa Rica into the leading privately owned bank.
Despite maintaining profits, there was a rapid decline in income for banks throughout Costa Rica over the past 12 months. In December 2008, the state banks accounted for 67% of Costa Rica’s banking assets.