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The Forcast for Credit & Banks in Costa Rica

Costa Rica News – Public banks project an 11% credit increase for the private sector in the next year. This estimate follows from the forecasts made by National Bank, Bank of Costa Rica (BCR), Banco Popular and Bancrédito in their budgets for 2017, delivered to the Office General Comptroller of the Republic in late September.

banco-nacional-costa-ricaAll four banks would close next year with a balance of credit of ¢ 10 billion compared to ¢ 9.3 billion estimated for 2016. This net change is considering both, new operations and those canceled.

The public bank sector projects up to ¢ 1.3 billion in loans placement during 2017, this according to information submitted to the Comptroller. Balance of the loan portfolio for this year reflects a slowdown, mainly due to lower placement in dollars.


National Bank is the institution that provides the highest growth rate, with 12%. For Banco Popular, the increase in its portfolio will be 10.55%, while BCR and Bancrédito, illustrate a 10% growth.

The budget for 2017 indicates that two thirds of it will go to housing, consumption and the production sector.

Director of the Financial Department of Banco Popular, Gerardo Abarca, explained that some key industires for productivity include service, trade, agriculture and cattle sectors. For Bancrédito, it is the small and medium enterprises that will help the increase.

According to some of the banks a rise in interest rates in colones and dollars will be crucial to meet the credit increase goal. The fiscal deficit of the government is the main threat to interest rates in local currency.

Growth of 6% in 2017 is the forcast for operation sin dollar, compared to 8% this year. The smallest increase will be a result of the new legislation criminalizing monitoring credit in foreign currency to non generators. Banco Popular points out that confidence of the consumers and entrepreneurs in the local economy will be crucial to the expectations of credit growth over the next year.

By Brenda Sotelo

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