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73% of PR banks open 5 weeks after María’s devastation

Hurricane María crippled the island’s banking system for several weeks, but activity is bouncing back. (Credit: © Mauricio Pascual)

Five weeks after Hurricane María pummeled Puerto Rico, about 72.6 percent of local bank branches, or 228, have resumed operations, according to data from the Office of the Financial Institutions Commissioner.

Furthermore, most of the major banks have brought hundreds of ATMs back online, which has put an end to the excessively long lines that were seen in the days after the storm.

Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, the island’s largest bank, has 125 out of 168 bank branches back in operation, and a little more than half of its ATMs working — 394 out of 635, bank officials confirmed.

“We’ve faced communications challenges and a lack of power, but our real estate, individual banking and branch operations have worked tirelessly to offer greater accessibility to our clients,” said a Banco Popular spokesperson Wednesday.

At FirstBank, representatives confirmed that 39 out of 48 bank branches are open, while about half, or 121, of its 224 ATMs are working.

At Oriental Bank, 20 of its 48 branches islandwide are open, while 49 percent — 142 of 309 — ATMs are back online.

Finally, at Scotiabank, 18 of its 21 branches are operating, while more than 100 ATMs are serving the public, said Michelle Pérez, vice president and head of marketing confirmed.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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