Thursday, 15 April 2021 21:45

Banco Agrícola: 30% of the salvadoran population has access to banking and 12% to a loan

Written by Alondra Gutiérrez

Banco Agrícola seeks for more people to have access to a country's financial system as it is part of development and stability. During the last decade, El Salvador has undertaken important actions to promote "financial inclusion".

To this end, the financial institution has identified two important fronts in which they can generate a greater impact, and also presents an evolution among them the transformation of the brand Banco Agrícola and Grupo Bancolombia.

This change is a statement of principles to be more consistent every day and reflect their purpose in every action they take as part of sustainable development for the welfare of all.

"This evolution that the bank is undergoing and the decision to support financial inclusion from the two defined fronts is accompanied by a transformation of our brand Bancoagrícola and Grupo Bancolombia. This change is not simply aesthetic, it is the result of a clear reading of what is happening in the environment and within us as an organization, a proposal that invites us to transcend, that commits us to achieve a higher level in our relationship with the people we serve and to whom we owe ourselves", said Rafael Barraza, Executive President of Banco Agrícola.

However, despite the efforts only 30% of the salvadoran population has access to banking and 12% has access to credit, Banco Agrícola is committed to being the strategic ally to promote the use and quality of financial services, and thus avoid closing the access gaps.

As part of the key strategies, the financial institution, together with the global agency of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to which it has adhered as part of the Grupo Bancolombia, has identified two fronts on which it can generate a greater impact.

"Acceleration of inclusion to entrepreneurial sectors and SMEs"

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, 32% of salvadorans are entrepreneurs, equivalent to 1 out of every 3 adults have an entrepreneurial venture as the main source of income for their families. Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are one of the engines of the economy, contributing 35% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

To this end, in 2020, with the support of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group (WB), they obtained a loan of up to US$330 million to contribute to the recovery of the salvadoran economy, aimed at supporting MSMEs and businesses led by women, as well as the sustainable housing segment and the green finance sector.

Thanks to this support, the bank's portfolio projection for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for 2021 is more than US$220 million, and by 2025 it expects to double that figure with a portfolio of more than US$410 million.

Another of the fronts where a greater impact is expected to be generated is:

"Empowerment of women"

Currently, women entrepreneurs are increasingly gaining greater participation in the country's productivity, and Banco Agrícola is working on several fronts to increase the participation, representation, and visibility of women, starting with raising awareness and eradicating stereotypes among girls, and young women.

Since last year to date, and with the support of the credit granted by IFC, more than US$29 million in loans have already been delivered to the female sector. The projected portfolio for 2021 is more than US$40 million, and by 2025 it is projected to almost triple that figure with a portfolio of more than US$100 million.

In 2020, the amount disbursed between projects, initiatives and workshops to promote digital transformation was more than US$8 million. Thanks to this investment, the bank achieved a 94.7% increase in digital users with Cuenta Fácil, with more than 150,000 new members at the end of 2020. By 2021, an investment of more than US$12 million is projected, and between 2020 and 2025, the total investment will be more than US$49 million.

As part of the transformation of the Banco Agrícola brand, which seeks a series of technological advances in innovation, and transformation starting with the creation of "Digital Banking" as part of its objectives are digital channels to provide greater service to all its customers and be part of a new era of transformation while continuing to support SMEs.

Last modified on Thursday, 15 April 2021 21:57