Banking Business

The area’s banking business generated a net attributable profit of €848m, 19.3% up on the figure for the previous year. The most significant aspects for each of the banks are detailed below.

Banco Francés in Argentina closed the year with a significant growth in its market share. Lending gained 15 basis points over the last 12 months, mainly thanks to progress in consumer finance (up 85 basis points) and corporate lending (up 84 basis points), while the share of customer funds was up 8 basis points (all with November data, the latest available). This explains the year-on-year increase of 21.3% in net interest income. Growing net fees and commissions (29.1%) and NTI (83.3%) led to a year-on-year increase in gross income of 28.3%. This, together with the increase in expenses (as a result of inflation and the expansion plans underway) and moderation in loan-loss provisions, has led to a year-on-year increase of 32.9% in the net attributable profit to €135m.

In Chile, BBVA and Forum generated a net attributable profit of €114m. Particularly outstanding was net interest income, which was up 30.1% thanks to significant growth of lending to private individuals, particularly in consumer finance, with a year-on-year gain of 104 basis points in market share, and mortgage lending, which was up 29 basis points (both figures also to November). Transactional customer funds also performed well, with an increase in market share of 10% on the figure for 2010, according to the latest data to October. NTI fell back in year-on-year terms due to the high gains from the sale of securities in the portfolio in 2010, while expenses continue to rise due to the expansion plans carried out over the year.

BBVA Colombia continues to improve its market share in the individual segment thanks to significant growth in lending, particularly consumer finance (up 42.0% year-on-year) and credit cards (up 51.7%), where it gained 119 and 128 basis points in market share respectively from November 2010 to November 2011 (latest figures available). As a result, the net interest income was up 10.7% in 2011, despite the strong competitive pressure, and gross income was up 6.7%, slightly down due to lower NTI resulting from the markets situation. The significant rise in lending activity (up 22.9% year-on-year) did not prevent loan-loss provisions from falling year-on-year by 35.9%, improving risk indicators. The net attributable profit was €208m, a rise of 15.3% on the figure for 2010.

In Peru, Banco Continental continues to perform well in its business, with a rise of 14.2% in net interest income. It gained 72 basis points year-on-year in market share in its loan book, boosted by credit cards (up 131 basis points) and corporate lending (up 100 basis points), and with customer funds up 93 basis points (all using November figures). There was also a significant rise in revenues from fees and commissions (up 9.8%), leading to gross income of €743m (up 9.8%). The expansion plans carried out over the year have boosted this rise in business and led to higher expenses in the unit. As a result, and combined with a slight fall in loan-loss provisions, the net attributable profit was up 7.7% to €141m.

In 2011, and for the eighth year in a row, BBVA Continental received the “Best Bank in Peru” award from Global Finance and the “Award for Excellence” from Euromoney. The bank was also chosen as the best bank in the country and is considered among the five best banks in the region in the ranking drawn up by América Economía. Finally, BBVA Banco Continental was given third place in the annual ranking of the most sustainable banks in Latin America by the consultancy Management & Excellence and the magazine Latin Finance.

Finally, Banco Provincial has recorded notable growth in its net attributable profit (up 77.5% year-on-year) to €192m, thanks to its progress in its revenue lines. Net interest income was up 60.5%, reflecting the boost from lending activity, mainly for individuals and companies. Credit cards gained 354 basis points in market share over the last 12 months, consumer finance 192 basis points and corporate lending 203 basis points (according to figures for November). NTI was up 43.4%, as a result of the revaluation of US dollar positions upheld by the Bank (a very similar effect occurred in 2010 following the devaluation of the bolivar). The high rate of inflation and expansion plans continue to weigh on expenses, while provisions include greater generic provisions.

In 2011, BBVA Provincial was once more chosen by Global Finance, Euromoney and Latin Finance as the “Best Bank in Venezuela”, and by Global Finance as the “Best Internet Bank.” It was also in 10th place in the “Great Place to Work 2010” list and first among the companies in the financial sector.

Among the other banks, BBVA Panama had a net attributable profit of €26m, BBVA Paraguay of €23m, and BBVA Uruguay of €9m (including the contribution from Crédit Uruguay).