Characterised by strong supervision and relatively conservative lending policies, Colombia’s banking sector is among the most stable and profitable in the region, with a return on assets of 1.97% across all credit entities and a return on equity of 13.56% in 2012. Although the sector is dominated by large domestic conglomerates, conditions are ripe for investors. Consumer, microcredit and mortgage lending segments have seen substantial real annual growth rates. Increased sophistication of the sector should be expected as it moves to implement Basel II and Basel III requirements and works towards compliance with International Financial Reporting Standards by January 2015.
This chapter includes interviews with José Darío Uribe, Governor, Central Bank of Colombia; Luis Carlos Sarmiento, CEO, Grupo Aval; and Carlos Raúl Yepes, President, Bancolombia.