COLOMBIA - Finance
Executive President, Banco Pichincha
Germán Rodríguez Perdomo holds degrees in finance and international relations from Externado de Colombia University and a master’s in administration from Universidad de los Andes, with complementary studies in mathematics, leadership, administration, and innovation from IESE-Universidad de Navarra, Babson College, Center for Creative Leadership, TEC de Monterrey, and Universidad de los Andes. He has extensive experience in the financial sector, including at Banco BBVA Colombia, where he held positions such as CFO, director of strategy and portfolio management, director of business development, director for management and financial planning, among others.
Banco Pichincha’s journey started as a small operation primarily focused on the automotive and consumer financing markets, subsequently evolving into a bank over the past 11 years. One of the first priorities was to demonstrate the bank’s commitment to Colombia, which is a crucial market in South America and an essential part of the group’s overall presence in Latin America and the world. This commitment is further reflected by the bank’s presence in Spain, the US, and Panama. Over the past 11 years, Banco Pichincha has continued to evolve its operations and has focused on specific markets and products to remain competitive in all regions where it operates.
Two-thirds of the bank’s business comes from individuals, which is a unique characteristic that sets it apart from other banks in Colombia that mostly rely on corporate clients. In addition to this, the bank offers a wide range of products, including commercial auto loans, consumer loans, credit cards, and commercial credit for medium to large companies, with incomes above USD25 million; however, to provide a better customer experience, the bank has evolved and focused on developing a direct banking model called Pibank, which is 100 % digital with personal advice. This brand promotes a savings culture with the Pibank Account, an account that gives 10% EA, one of the best rates on the market. The bank’s guiding principle is to provide excellent service so that customers stay with them by choice, rather than out of necessity, which is a common phenomenon in Colombia.
Colombia was chosen by the group as the ideal market to launch its Latin American initiative due to its large market size and high digital penetration in banking. The pandemic further accelerated this transformation by shifting customer preferences to digital banking. Pibank distinguishes itself by offering 100% digital products with personal advice, which means there’s a digital consultant that, over the phone or digital channels, goes through the self-management process with the consumer. While the trend in digital banking has been to focus on efficiency and distance the customer from physical banking, Pibank recognizes that customers still need guidance, especially for products such as savings, like the Pibank Account, a remunerated saving account and investments like TDCs, credit cards, and free investment credits that soon will offer Pibank in Colombia. This guidance cannot be provided by chatbots or uninformed call center representatives. Pibank believes that having advisors with deep product knowledge and the ability to establish a relationship with the customer is essential for helping customers achieve their financial goals. Financial health and stability are critical to reducing stress in people’s lives, and having a trustworthy person to guide them in choosing the best products is important for customers worldwide, including in Colombia.
Transparency is deeply ingrained in the bank’s DNA in Colombia. It is a unique approach to banking that sets us apart from others. Our belief is that we can make a specific and meaningful social impact by being transparent in our banking practices. While some might think that big investments or green financing are the only ways to achieve this, we believe that a focus on transparency in every customer relationship is equally important. Customers truly value this approach, and it is one of the main ways we aim to build trust and strong relationships with them. Our commitment to solid advice and transparency sets us apart from traditional banking practices, and it is a core aspect of who we are as a company.