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Solid financial system

Updated: 2013-02-04 07:54
(China Daily)

Solid financial system

Uruguay's modern and transparent banking sector is growing at a robust rate

With a focus on corporate banking and project finance, Banco Santander Uruguay is the country's largest private bank and a recognized leader in the republic's well-regulated, transparent and fast-growing banking and financial services sector.

Boasting a significant share of the loans and deposit markets, the forward-thinking bank is part of the world-renowned Grupo Santander and offers businesses and individuals an extensive range of financial services through its diverse portfolio of financial products.

For commercial customers, these include varying sizes of lines of credit for large, small and medium-sized enterprises, cash management services like payroll payments, trade services such as import and export documentation and assistance. While for private customers, the bank offers a range of current and savings accounts, credit cards, loans, mortgages and financial products targeted at university students.

In addition, the award-winning bank offers a range of specialist fiscal products for farmers and agricultural enterprises. These include pre-approved credit and financial plans for the purchase of machinery and vehicles such as tractors, and generous credit packages that are timed to coincide with the farming seasons and harvests.

Given its impressive reputation and financial performance in Uruguay over the past few years, Banco Santander Uruguay is ideally-positioned to take advantage of the many commercial opportunities that arise from the country's socioeconomic success.

The bank is at the forefront of private sector efforts to attract billions of dollars of FDI to Uruguay particularly investment from countries like China that have played such a leading role in the socioeconomic development of nations' economies around the world.

In a further sign of its ambition to become the number one bank in the country and repeat its success elsewhere in Latin America and Europe, Banco Santander Uruguay is also targeting high-income earners. The bank offers a broad range of tailor-made investments and solid financial products under its "Van Gogh" preferred banking services package.

"Banco Santander is the bank that best understands Latin America," stated Juan Carlos Chomali, Banco Santander Uruguay general manager. "There are important legal guarantees and macroeconomic stability in Uruguay - two vital factors for doing business in any country.

"The biggest part of our operation remains corporate banking which is responsible for 51 percent of our business, but our overall aim is to achieve equality between our corporate banking and retail banking operations. The critical mass in corporate banking, the know-how, clients and contacts of the group worldwide are all key factors.

Liquid financial system

"This is a banking sector with experience of crisis and this is very valuable," Chomali said in reference to the economic crisis that engulfed the country around a decade ago but from which it has bounced back strongly. Now, Uruguay has a healthy credit rating and savings and a liquid financial system that is capable of putting up with any future crisis.

"Banco Santander has a business model based on subsidiaries that are autonomous in terms of capital and liquidity, which leaves the decisions to a steering committee and local board. This business model allows for greater diversity and flexibility in their funding sources, capital and profits."

According to the senior executive, Latin America now accounts for half of the global group's worldwide profits. The past year has been very good to us; the business margin increased by 40 percent compared to the previous year," Chomali added.

Focusing on the sort of welcome Chinese businesses can expect in Uruguay, he added: "A Chinese company that wants to develop a project in Uruguay simply needs to call and they will receive a great reception."

InFocus provided the story

Solid financial system

(China Daily 02/04/2013 page6)

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