12 April 2024

Corporación Bi – The secret behind regional success

Banking & Finance
| The European |

Built on a commitment to innovation and excellence, Corporación Bi continues to set new standards across Central America and beyond

In 2023, Banco Industrial emerged as the leading bank in Central America, boasting an impressive figure of $18bn in assets. Banco Industrial is an integral part of Corporación Bi, a conglomerate based in Guatemala, which also has a presence in Honduras, El Salvador, and Panama. 

Founded in 1968, Banco Industrial began its journey in the Guatemalan market with an unwavering commitment to innovation in financial products and services. In 1984, it achieved a milestone by becoming the first bank in Guatemala to issue credit cards. Just four years later, it pioneered the introduction of debit cards in the country. In 2000, the bank continued to set precedents by launching online banking services for individuals and businesses. Through these innovative initiatives, Banco Industrial quickly positioned itself as a formidable force in banking.

In 2022, Banco Industrial was awarded the title of ‘Bank of the Year’ in Guatemala by EuroMoney and Global Finance. Furthermore, in 2023, it received high ratings from prominent credit rating agencies: Fitch Ratings awarded it an AA+ rating for long-term local issuances and an F1+ rating for short-term issuances. Moody’s Analytics granted it a Ba1 rating, while S&P Global Ratings gave Banco Industrial a BB rating.

The impact of Banco Industrial transcended the borders of Guatemala, marking just the beginning of a broader narrative that unfolded with the creation of Corporación Bi in 1969. This strategic move was instrumental in diversifying the group’s interests and laying the foundation for the conglomerate’s future success.

Corporación Bi’s ambitious plan for regional expansion took a significant leap in 2007 with the acquisition of 90% of the assets of Banco del País. Upon integration into Corporación Bi, the bank’s name was changed to Banpaís. Today, this Honduran bank plays a fundamental role in the country’s economy, with assets exceeding $3.5bn and an extensive network of over 4,000 service points. Its commitment to excellent customer service and sustainability earned it the prestigious title of ‘Bank of the Year Honduras’ from The Banker Magazine on 12 occasions, most recently in 2018.

The strategic acquisition of Banco del País expanded Corporación Bi’s reach to encompass not only the financial sector but also ventured into the insurance industry with the inclusion of Seguros del País. With Banpaís’s outstanding success as a testament to its capabilities, Corporación Bi sought to continue its regional expansion by entering El Salvador, where Banco Industrial El Salvador was created in 2011. Its financial prowess quickly rose to over $573,000 million in assets, also securing a local Fitch rating of EAAA for long-term issuances and F1+ for short-term issuances.

Regional expansion 

2016 marked another significant milestone as Corporación Bi expanded its presence to Panama by founding Bi Bank. Over its seven years of operation, Bi Bank surpassed $1.4bn in assets. Fitch Ratings confirmed its performance with a local rating of A+ for long-term issuances and F1+ for short-term issuances, further solidifying Corporación Bi’s reputation in the region’s economy.

As an integral part of Corporación Bi, Bi Bank demonstrates not only financial prowess but also a genuine dedication to the economic growth of the communities it serves. Its emphasis on sustainable business practices and a proactive approach to identifying and leveraging development prospects further underscores its positive influence on the financial landscape. Strategic moves into the rest of the region consolidate Corporación Bi’s position as a key player in the regional economy, reinforcing its role as a catalyst for positive change and prosperity. With this regional connection, Corporación Bi can expand markets with all opportunities backed by Banco Industrial to instill confidence and grow the wealth of its clients with highly competitive conditions.

The impressive journey of Banco Industrial and Corporación Bi, from humble beginnings in Guatemala to becoming influential players in the financial sector of several countries, is a testament to their commitment to innovation and excellence. Their achievements not only transformed the financial landscape of Guatemala but also extended their reach to benefit communities and economies throughout Central America. As they continue to evolve and expand their operations, their impact on the financial health of the region is certain to endure and thrive in the years to come.

Further information 
www.corporacionbi.com/pa/bibank

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