Where do you position Banco Amazonas within the Ecuadorian financial landscape?
We started as a niche bank focusing mainly on automotive loans and have now decentralized our portfolio by entering consumer and business banking. Due to our size, we can provide preferential attention to our clients.
The Ecuadorian government is encouraging entrepreneurship. What is your vision as a bank on providing loans to encourage small- and medium-sized companies to grow?
At present, the country is in a situation of economic reactivation. Our goal is to serve companies with annual sales of USD1-15 million, which means that most of our customers are SMEs. SMEs represent 30% of GDP and are a great productive force, which is why we are focused on serving them with a portfolio of services and simple financing and transactional products that can be adjusted to their needs. A great benefit is that an SME does not require seniority in the bank to acquire lines of credit for working capital or fixed assets.
Can you tell us about the UN Global Compact affiliation, and how you plan on remaining sustainable in the future?
Being a part of this affiliation is a guarantee for our employees, clients, and different interest groups. It is part of the policies and culture of the bank to ensure our employees have favorable conditions. We are also working on implementing a division of green credits in order to promote the conservation of natural resources and increase energy efficiency.
Can you tell us more on about your digitalization agenda, both for internal processes and customer interaction?
A bank's digitalization process has three steps. First, we have to make internal digital processes. In this regard, we are working on two important things: moving the central banking system from servers and computing centers to the cloud, and facilitating the processes that our customers require to acquire their products. Second, since last year we have renewed channels in both electronic and mobile banking to serve customers in real time, 24-7. We can finally accelerate the processes for opening up credit and accounts in an efficient and paperless manner. After the launch of the mobile application we have experienced a significant growth in the number of transactions and customers on the website. Our current goal is to complete this first step in 1Q2019.
Does that mean growth will come more from your digital or phystical presence?
The bank's growth will be focused on the optimization of digital processes and an efficient commercial team focused on customer service, advice, and the offer of benefits according to their financial needs. We have two offices, in Quito and Guayaquil, and already have a digital ADN, but we are complementing our transactional coverage at the national level with the Servipagos network with 69 total service points. While we are not focused on physical expansion, we are considering opening two or three more offices in high-value segments, such as investment clients and private banking.
What is coming for Banco Amazonas in the next two years?
We want to consolidate as a multipurpose bank and provide an excellent personalized service. Our objective is to make life easier for our clients with efficient processes oriented at their well-being and comfort. In the same way, we want to promote new products and services and disrupt the market through digital platforms.