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The Banker Magazine names Banco Popular ‘Bank of the Year in Puerto Rico’

The Banker, The Financial Times’ international banking magazine, has named Banco Popular de Puerto Rico at “Bank of the Year Puerto Rico” for the seventh consecutive year.

The Banker announced the award during the virtual awards ceremony held recently.

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,” the publication stated.

“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,” it added.

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 Paycheck Protection Program, the bank secured approval for more than 29,000 loans for small and medium-sized businesses for a total value of more than $1.4 billion. These include $240 million for clients in the mainland US, $27 million for clients in the U.S. Virgin Islands and $1.2 billion that were disbursed 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 acknowledged as the bank secured $200,000 in grants for local nonprofits working with small businesses from the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, a bank that supports community lenders.

“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 of BPPR’s parent company, 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,” he said.

The Banker, is a financial intelligence magazine, founded in 1926. This marks the 21st year of the rankings and awards.

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

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