From The Report: Colombia 2017
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Although the Colombian economy has been affected by a slowdown in recent years, the country’s banking sector has remained resilient. The majority of the impact has been felt in the external sector, particularly due to changes in the foreign exchange rate. Meanwhile, lending growth remained relatively strong until mid-2016, when the combined effects of weak investment and higher interest rates had a noticeable negative impact on commercial lending. Nonetheless, even as GDP growth slowed during 2016, the share of the financial intermediation sub-sector grew from 6% to 6.5%. Lending is expected to pick up as the economy accelerates through 2017, while other indicators – such as non-performing loans (NPLs), profitability and capitalisation – remain relatively robust. This chapter features an interview with Luis Carlos Sarmiento Gutiérrez, CEO, Grupo Aval.