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American Banker Magazine names Oriental CEO ‘Community Banker of the Year’

American Banker Magazine has recognized Oriental Bank’s chief executive officer, José Rafael Fernández, as “Community Banker of the Year,” acknowledging his leadership and contribution to Puerto Rico’s banking industry and his impact on the island’s communities, the financial institution announced.

“I’m honored and grateful for this recognition, which highlights not only my leadership and contributions throughout my career but also the work and dedication of the entire Oriental family,” said stated.

“What has been achieved at Oriental isn’t simply the result of one person’s effort, but the product of the work done by an entire team, by every employee who, with purpose and dedication, contributes to making progress possible for our clients and the communities we serve,” he added.

This award validates Fernández’s professional accomplishments over nearly 20 years at Oriental’s helm. It reflects the growth, financial strength and leadership Oriental has achieved in Puerto Rican banking, a recognition now extended among American banks.

Every year, American Banker selects a standout banker from the United States, one who has demonstrated distinctive leadership qualities and consistency in the banking industry. There are more than 4,000 community banks in the U.S., with up to $10 billion in total assets.

“I appreciate the recognition bestowed by the prestigious American Banker Magazine and also thank everyone who is part of Oriental because together we are working to offer better opportunities to customers, entrepreneurs and the communities we serve,” he said.

Oriental was founded in 1964 in Humacao, Puerto Rico, and is a leading banking financial services company in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fernández began his career at Oriental in 1991 and assumed the CEO role in 2004.

Under his leadership, the institution acquired Eurobank’s operations in Puerto Rico in 2010, BBVA in 2013 and Scotiabank in Puerto Rico and the USVI in 2019. He is currently the longest-serving CEO in the banking industry, Oriental officials said.

“Everyone at Oriental is committed to continuing to work every day to offer you innovative and technological solutions that allow us to make life easier for our customers. Additionally, we will continue to provide an easy, secure and convenient banking experience. We have made progress over the years, and we are more than ready to continue furthering our customers’ progress and financial success,” Fernández added.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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