PR Banking Industry Report- January to June 2017

November 3, 2017

The local banking industry has done a formidable job managing its operations in a historically challenging environment, posting positive levels of profitability since 2014, and registering a Pre-Tax ROE of 8.7% during the first half of 2017. While it has been able to weather the economic and fiscal headwinds which have been fiercely and relentlessly blowing through the Island since more than a decade ago, local banks are now faced with the catastrophic aftermath brought about by the passage of Hurricanes Irma (Sep. 6) and María (Sep. 20). Moody’s has estimated economic losses could amount to $95 billion. Large capital buffers of local banks will help mitigate the potential losses due to the myriad disruptions engendered by the hurricanes. Although banks have been able to gradually improve their asset quality, registering a 90+ days past due-non accruing ratio of 5.9%, loan quality issues could reemerge due to the negative impact on business and household income and expenses. The next issue will focus further on the macro-impacts of the 2017 hurricanes, leveraging what was learned from the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the U.S. Gulf Coast’s banking sector.

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