SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Popular, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPOP) announced Banco Popular de Puerto Rico (BPPR), its principal banking subsidiary, was named “Bank of the Year Puerto Rico” by The Banker, The Financial Times’ international banking magazine. This marks the seventh consecutive year BPPR has received this prestigious recognition.
The award was announced yesterday by The Banker during the virtual awards ceremony. According to The Banker, 2020 has been an incredibly tough year, as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a standstill. The difficult operating environment makes this year’s winners of The Banker’s Bank of the Year Awards even more deserving of the Bracken trophy. Not only have they successfully managed the pressures of running their operations remotely, but they have also taken care of their customers and staff, responding rapidly to their needs and stepping up support in these demanding times.
The Banker highlighted BPPR’s expansion mode for the past few years with a strategic acquisition from Wells Fargo to bolster its auto loan business. BPPR’s efforts to support customers, acting decisively at the onset of the crisis was also recognized. Under the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the bank secured approval for more than 29,000 loans for small and medium-sized businesses for a total value of more than $1.4bn. These include $240m for clients in the mainland US, $27m for clients in the US Virgin Islands and $1.2bn that were disbursed locally, in Puerto Rico. BPPR originated 63% of the PPP loans (part of SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program) in Puerto Rico.
BPPR’s focus on supporting communities was also acknowledge as the bank secured $200,000 in grants for local non-profits working with small businesses from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, a bank that supports community lenders.
At a time when customers needed it most, BPPR’s technology was in place to deliver digital banking channels that helped local businesses and consumers in general. Between April and May this year, sign-ups to Banco Popular’s app, Mi Banco, grew by 40% compared to the same period in 2019 – an increase that the bank usually sees over a 12-month period.
“This has been an extraordinary year by any measure. We have over the course of our 125 plus years as an institution, seen our share of disaster recovery and challenges. Our people have always enabled us to overcome and remain focused and successful in delivering for our customers,” said Ignacio Alvarez, President and CEO of Popular, Inc. “The foundational steps we have taken to rebuild, reinforce and maintain long-term sustainability, have positioned our institution for continued growth. We are very appreciative to The Banker for this prestigious recognition and for highlighting our efforts.”
The Banker, is a financial intelligence magazine, founded in 1926 and provides international bank ratings. Recognized as the industry standard for banking excellence, The Banker’s Bank of the Year awards is contested by the world’s leading financial institutions, with winners chosen across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central & Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America and Western Europe. This marks the 21st year of the rankings and awards.
About Popular, Inc.
Popular, Inc. is the leading financial institution by both assets and deposits in Puerto Rico and ranks among the top 50 U.S. bank holding companies by assets. Founded in 1893, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Popular’s principal subsidiary, provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Popular also offers in Puerto Rico auto and equipment leasing and financing, investment banking, broker-dealer and insurance services through specialized subsidiaries. In the mainland United States, Popular provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services through its New York-chartered banking subsidiary, Popular Bank, which has branches located in New York, New Jersey and Florida.