The financing through credit cards continued with a strong dynamism, according to the latest report from the regulator
In April 2015, the balance of credit cards in the national banking system grew 15.5% over the same month of 2014. This is shown by figures from the Superintendency of Banks of Panama.
In April 2014, the balance of credit cards totaled $ 1261.5 million in April 2015 and reached $ 1457.6 million, an increase of $ 196.1 million over the past twelve months.
The financing through credit cards has been an important component in the expansion of consumption in Panama.
In this regard, the leadership of this market has BAC, which reached a portfolio of $ 309.2 million in April 2015, resulting from an expansion of 10.1% annually.
Another financial institution with a good position is the General Bank, which achieved a financing component of credit cards for $ 238 million in April this year, after growth of 22.6% in the last twelve months.
Citibank maintains a strong presence in the credit card market, ranking third in April 2015, with a portfolio of $ 163 million and an annual growth of 7.3%.
Banistmo, Banesco and St. Georges Bank have an important role in financing through credit cards. In April 2015, those banks amounted credit card balances totaling $ 163.2 million, $ 149.5 million and $ 121.9 million respectively.
It draws attention to the case of Banco Ficohsa, which went from having a balance card credit of $ 2.9 million in April 2014 to reach a total of $ 23.4 million in April 2015, a significant growth of 695.6%, which demonstrates the interest of this financial institution to penetrate and compete in this market (see table).
Joey Levy economist said that the debts of Panamanians are consumer and we have to protect ourselves, especially when it comes to debt. “You have to save and repay loans,” Levy recommended.
Ernesto Chong de León, Ernesto Emilio Chong Coronado
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