Banks Adjust to Costa Rica Credit Crunch

The ceiling on the growth of the loan portfolios imposed on Costa Rican banks has forced financial institutions to adjust their lending strategies.

Monday, February 11, 2013 reports that "The Central Bank of Costa Rica (BCCR by its initials in Spanish) established a ceiling of 9% on the growth that credit loans might have between February and October this year. In 12 months, the figure will rise to 12%. "

It has been noted that the restriction will primarily affect credit in foreign currency, which by the end of 2012 made up 48% of the total loans in the country.

Gerardo Porras, corporate general manager of Banco Popular, said: "We will have to adjust the placement strategy in both the amount and the currency. This could have effects on profitability and on the number of customers to whom we can lend. '

Banco Lafise will endeavor to focus on more profitable loan products, and Promerica will direct its efforts towards activities that generate dollars such as tourism, services and agricultural exports.

These shifts in strategy by financial institutions will not fail to affect those who wish to obtain credit in dollars, as many predict that interest rates on these operations will tend to rise.

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