Honduran bank Banpaís plans to open 15-20 branches this year as part of its strategy to attract individual clients, Luis Prado, international banking director at Guatemala's largest bank Banco Industrial (BI), told BNamericas.
Last December, BI reportedly acquired 90% of Banpaís for US$90mn.
Banpaís, a corporate-orientated bank, will be seeking to grow significantly its retail banking business, which is very small today and has good growth potential given low penetration of financial services among the country's population, according to Prado.
Latest statistics from financial sector regulator CNBS show Banpaís finished September 2007 with 60 branches.
Banpaís held 17.4bn lempiras (US$940mn) in assets at end-October 2007, according to CNBS. The bank ranked fifth by assets and fourth by loans at end-October.