PR Banking Industry Report – January to September 2015

diciembre 2, 2015

The local banking industry continues to weather the storm of economic and fiscal malaise that is gripping the Island. It has maintained positive, albeit modest, levels of profitability during YTD 2015, reaching a Pre-Tax ROE of 6.2% on a consolidated level. Profitability by individual bank exhibited notable variability. Popular, Scotia and Santander posted relatively strong levels of profitability, with Pre-Tax ROEs of 9.7%, 8.9%, and 7.2% respectively, while First Bank and Oriental produced ROEs below 1% (0.9% and 0.3%, respectively). Higher provision expenses due to heightened credit risk stemming from uncertainties regarding PR government assets and current shaky economic grounds, have adversely impacted local banks’ 2015 performance. Nevertheless, a strong capital base provides banks with an adequate cushion to assimilate potential future losses. Given the importance of the auto industry for the local economy and specifically for local banks and other financial institutions, this issue will provide an overview of key auto trends. New auto sales in Puerto Rico peaked in 2005 with 140,400 cars sold, dropping to 88,175 in 2014 (-52K units or -37%), continuing a downward trend in YTD 2015. This trend has important implications for local banks as well as for already strained public coffers.

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