Home Local News The Banker: Popular was tops in PR
Issued : Wednesday, December 28, 2011 02:40 PM
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The Banker: Popular was tops in PR

By CB Online Staff

The Banker magazine has named Popular Inc. as Puerto Rico’s top bank last year.

The Banker magazine has named Popular Inc. as Puerto Rico’s top bank last year.

“Popular had quite a year in 2010. In the space of four months, the bank raised $1.5 billion – when it initially was seeking only $900 million – sold a subsidiary for $600 million – above the original asking price of $500 million – and successfully bid for $2.5 billion of deposits and $9.1bn of assets from lender Westernbank Puerto Rico, which was one of the largest failures in the U.S. financial system last year. The assets were absorbed and transferred into the bank’s own systems in just over three months,” The Banker said in its annual rankings of the world’s banks.

Execution was key and credit has to go to Popular for closing these deals successfully; and closing 2010 in profit too, after the previous year’s losses, said The Banker, a unit of the United Kingdom’s Financial Times.

While last year the group’s profit was explained simply by the sale of its technology and processing subsidiary, Evertec, this year the bank has closed three quarters in operational profit – a confirmation that its strategy is working, The Banker said.

It seems that Popular will have a busy 2012 too. “[We plan to] finish off [work on] any remaining legacy assets, focusing on growing portfolios – hopefully the economy will be a little less hostile than it has been, particularly in Puerto Rico. [We will] continue to work on US operations, and look at further efficiencies in Puerto Rico’s operations,” said Popular Chairman & CEO Richard Carrión.

“We have a very good infrastructure in Puerto Rico to which we can add additional assets. We have the infrastructure to manage a lot more assets than we have now, so we’re looking for additional purchases,” he said.

Founded in 1893, Popular, Inc. is the leading banking institution by both assets and deposits in Puerto Rico and ranks 36th by assets among mainland U.S. banks.

In the mainland U.S., Popular has established a community-banking franchise providing a broad range of financial services and products with branches in New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida and California.

Now in its 12th year, The Banker Awards has become one of the most prestigious events within the industry

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