Last year, Banco Popular – now known as Popular – acquired a portion of Well Fargo’s Auto Finance Business in Puerto Rico. This investment in combination with an increase in overall consumer base allowed the bank to reduce one of it’s most reliable revenue streams – ATM fees, by 50% post hurricane. This decrease was welcomed by the citizens of both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands struggling in the wake of a devastating hurricane season. Another local bank, First Bank, “reported that net interest increased by $5.8 million to $130.5 million last year.”
As these islands continue to rebuild in the aftermath of these storms – it will be interesting to see how the growth and prosperity of these banks will continue and their role in the recovery of the local economy.
Banco Popular is thriving 16 months after hurricane Irma damaged its branch offices in St. Thomas, followed by a crippling blow to its core infrastructure in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria decimated both U.S. territories.