Honduras merges development, housing banks

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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Honduras President Juan Orlando Hernández announced that a new state-owned bank, the result of the fusion of development bank Banadesa and second-floor mortgage bank Banhprovi, will begin operations December 20.

Speaking to business leaders in the key industrial Valle de Sula region, Hernández said that the new Banhprovi-Banadesa entity would not be fully operational for another 20 days, though some operations have already begun.

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The president met with legislators and representatives from labor and business groups last week during negotiations for the merger.

Hernández was quoted by outlet La Prensa as saying there is a need to devise "a scheme for reaching where private banks cannot", adding, "Bahnprovi has the important muscle, but is to some degree elitist."

He stressed this will be a way to boost access to financial services for micro-, small- and mid-sized businesses.

Under the new scheme, Banhprovi, which was created by congress in 2005 to boost access to housing, and development bank Banadesa will work to bring Banhprovi's mortgage services to a broader audience.

Banadesa has gone through some difficult moments in past years, nearly closing at one point; however, the banking industry has recovered somewhat, and Moody's even upgraded the nation's bond rating in May on fiscal progress.

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