BANKs OF THE YEAR awards
Banco de Bogotá continues strong at 150 years
Colombia’s Banco de Bogotá had big plans for 2020. The
oldest bank in the country, it was looking forward to commemorating 150 years
of continued service with a long list of anniversary activities.
plans, like everything else for the bank and Colombia as whole, were scrapped
when the pandemic hit the country in March and Banco de Bogotá went into crisis
Figueroa Jaramillo, president and chief executive office, said the anniversary
celebrations planned were going to showcase the bank’s path to the future. This
still happened, but it came instead through its response to the pandemic,
helping it earn the Bank of the Year award for Colombia.
was totally unexpected, and our people have reacted in an extraordinary way,”
he said. “They demonstrated the bank’s
capacity to adapt to any situation.”
stepped up during the crisis in a number of ways, including taking the lead in
the government’s National Guarantee Fund and helping client companies meet
payroll obligations. Banco de Bogotá accounted for more than half of the
disbursements under the program.
“This is very important. We have made 58 percent of the
loans in this program, which has been a titanic job for our bank,” said
Banco de Bogotá has been making digital strides for years
and the pandemic contributed to meeting goals ahead of time and launching new
products that broadened its already strong social footprint.
“The technical capacity we had before the pandemic let us
respond quickly with the measures required to ensure the wellbeing of our
personnel and guarantee uninterrupted customer service.
crisis began, three out of every four new credit cards is digital, as are two
out of three consumer loans and four out of every five mortgages. Overall, the
number of digital users went up 24 percent in the 12 months ending in June
Banco de Bogotá
also became the first financial institution in the world to partner with the
U.N. program for children (UNICEF) to launch a digital, fee-less credit card to
help finance social programs in the country. Cardholders can earmark the
equivalent 1 percent of their purchases for the program, and the bank will
“The card helps Colombian children by contributing to health,
education and nutrition,” said Figueroa Jaramillo.
While undergoing upheaval, the bank maintained its leading
role in return on equity in the Colombian banking system and saw total assets
increase by 33.4 percent. Deposits were up by 38.3 percent and loans up by 29
“We are a bank moving toward two centuries of existence, but
are leading in digital and innovation strategies in the financial industry,”
said Figueroa Jaramillo.