PANAMANIAN lending continues to be one of the most attractive in Latin America despite the rise in interest rates in recent times, said Carlos Troetsch, president of the Panama Banking Association (ABP).
He was speaking at the V Business Credit Risk and Collection Congress held on Sunday in Panama City
“We have a very attractive credit offer. Anyone who has traveled to other countries in Latin America will have realized that the quality of our financing and the amount are very attractive,” said Troesch.
Panama’s banking center, he said, “has managed to maintain the active interest rate between 5% and 8%,” figures that are “very manageable” and do not pose any threat to economic activity.
“The dollar rates (offered by Panama) are almost as competitive as those in the United States,” added Troetsch
During the first quarter of 2017, the Panamanian banking center granted $49.602 billion in local loans, an increase of 8.1% over the same period last year, according to the association.
Loans went to Construction (17%), personal consumption (12.3%), residential mortgages (11.2%) and commercial mortgages (4, 2%), according to the BPA.
Loans to the public sector, however, fell by 16.6% compared to the first quarter of last year, which means that the State is going to other sources of financing other than the Banks said Troesch
Panama’s banking center consists of 90 banks, of which 15 are representative offices, 27 have international licenses and 48 general licenses, according to the association.
From January to March 2017, the assets of the Panamanian banking center grew by 2% to $ 120.14 billion, while deposits amounted to $ 85.451 billion.
Non-performing loans stood at 4.1%, compared to 3.3% in the same period last year.
“The first quarter of this year for the banking system was very good compared to last year, which has to do with the adjustments made last year as a result of new regulations,” said the banker.