The local banking industry’s Q1 2014 Pre-Tax ROE reached 6.8%, certainly a positive development given the beleaguered state of the economy, but still remains well below pre-crisis levels of profitability. Cost rationalization and strategic focus in high-performing areas is critical given a local environment with few organic growth opportunities. Capital ratios continue to improve for most banks while asset quality slightly deteriorated during this last quarter. The behavior of NPL ratios is certainly something that should be closely tracked in the coming quarters, particularly in light of worsening labor market indicators. The potential further deterioration of the Island’s precarious economic and fiscal state could adversely impact those banks with sizeable exposure to PR government’s loans, deposits and securities.