Central America roundup: IBAN rollout, July lending data, agriculture loan reform

- Friday, September 23, 2011

Central America roundup: IBAN rollout, July lending data, agriculture loan reform

Guatemalan banks will begin adopting standardized international bank account numbers, IBANs, from January 1 next year under a new resolution from central bank Banguat.

The new system is expected to increase operational efficiency and reduce transaction costs, Latin American ratings agency PCR Ratings said in a research note.

The banks will have 30 months to implement the IBAN system.

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The credit portfolio in Guatemala's banking system has risen 12.2% in July on an interannual basis, according to the latest statistics published by financial regulator SIB.

The total loan portfolio stood at 84.5bn quetzales (US$10.8bn) at the end of the July. During the first seven months of the year, Guatemalan banks registered 1.97bn quetzales in profits.

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Honduran banking regulator CNBS has drafted a proposal to ease access to credit for private sector farmers.

The proposal seeks to differentiate different types of agricultural businesses based on their credit risks and grant laxer regulatory requirements for banks' agricultural portfolios to boost lending.