Puerto Rico’s financial system reports 2% asset drop
Puerto Rico’s financial system — which comprises local and international commercial banks, cooperatives, mortgage and investment companies, and public banks, among others — reported $147.6 billion in assets during the third quarter of 2013, down about 2 percent from the $151.2 billion on record for the same period in 2012.
While commercial banks, brokerage houses, investment firms and government banks reported shrinking numbers, international banks and co-ops were on a growth path, according to data gathered by the Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions for the period ended Sept. 30.
When broken down, commercial banks reported a combined $61.7 billion in assets, which represented 41.8 percent of Puerto Rico’s financial universe. International banking entities followed with $42.3 billion in assets, representing 28.6 percent of the total pie. Co-ops rounded out the top three spots with $8.3 billion in assets as of June 2013, or 9.8 percent of the island’s financial assets, the report showed.
Puerto Rico’s financial system has reflected consecutive year-over-year drops since 2011, and has contracted by 29 percent since 2006, when the island’s recession began and the sector had a combined $207.6 billion in assets.
During the third quarter of this year, brokerage firm assets were among the hardest hit, at $29.7 billion — down about 16 percent from the $35.2 billion on record for the same quarter in 2012.
Another segment that reflected negative growth was mortgage loan companies, which reported a combined $1.7 billion in assets, down from the $1.9 billion for the same year-ago quarter. The most recent results represent less than half of the $5.4 billion in capital the sector reported for the same three-month period in 2011.
Finally, the Commissioner’s report shows that Banco Popular remains the island’s largest bank, with $25.3 billion in assets and 172 branches as of Sept. 30, followed by FirstBank, with $9.6 billion in assets and 47 branches, and Oriental Bank, with $7.4 billion in assets and 56 branches.
To read the report in full, click here.