TBY pays tribute to Latam banking pioneers

Colombia, April 15, 2015—Last year, Bancolombia went from 25,000 to 75,000 shareholders in a historic process of democratization and capitalization in a bid to extend its model of human banking across the continent.

It’s not difficult to see the various criteria on which Bancolombia has continuously excelled in measures of its liquidity, unwavering share price, dedication to excellence, and ultimately the affirmation that its human banking model has led to solid commercial results on its balance sheets, and sentiments of commitment across all socio-economic groups of society.

The Bank’s achievements were acknowledged on April 15 by The Business Year, which recognized Bancolombia as the Most Socially Responsible Bank of the Year, paying tribute to the group’s excellence, with particular reference to its human banking model and practices. The award has been one amongst a series of recognitions given by the publisher to exemplary investors and stakeholders in the Colombian economy, in addition to the titles Foreign Investor of the Year and Mobile Operator of the Year earlier on in 2015.

The award was presented by TBY’s Country Manager in Colombia, Selene Miramontes, and Country Editor, Richard Kent, during an award ceremony at the Club el Nogal in Bogotá on Tuesday April 15. Miramontes acclaimed the bank’s foundation, Fundación Bancolombia, which has been at the core of its human banking practice. The foundation has developed over 150 institutions nationwide and helped educate hundreds of thousands of children, awarded thousands of scholarships and financial assistance to the millions of Colombians effected by displacement and violence, and trained over 2,000 teachers.

Miramontes commended how the human banking philosophy is “reflected not only by the scale of assistance that you have offered through the foundation, but practice in sustainability and employment of green technologies, your public stance against everything from extortion, corruption, and to issues of eradicating child labor, and is a model to follow at both a regional and international level.”

In 2014, Bancolombia had what was by many measures the most successful year in its 140-year history. It reached consolidated revenues of Ps1.9 billion, up 24% YoY, and a combined share value of Ps150 billion, a rise of 14% YoY.

The group ended the year with capitalization of Ps2.7 billion; the reasons for this due to its bonds emission of approximately Ps1 billion in March of 2014, which led to the number of shareholders skyrocketing from 25,000 to 70,000.

In 2015 the group will be investing over $300 million in its regional operations. These investments include $150 million in Colombia, and investments of $100 million in Panama and $60 million destined for El Salvador, in order to consolidate the respective purchases of HSBC and Banco AgroMercantil.

In receiving the recognition, President Carlos Raúl Yepes Jiménez said, “We are very happy to receive this recognition, which represents one of the main causes we represent today, social responsibility, along with sustainability, and our human banking model.”

Yepes referred to the pillars of efficiency, innovation, technologyl and above all human banking. Concerning its application at a macro level, Yepes affirmed, “It is due to the development of these pillars that we are expecting 12% growth in our portfolio, in a range from 10-15%. This is an important figure as it denotes we are growing 2-3 times faster than the national GDP in all the countries where we are present—despite the external pressure due to the current global and local macroeconomic conditions, we expect a positive performance.”

Bancolombia has recently celebrated its 140th anniversary since it was founded in Bogotá in 1875 by a group of 25 distinguished entrepreneurs representing various different industrial interests.