Banking - Ecuador

BIESS now country's largest mortgage lender - general manager

BIESS now country's largest mortgage lender - general manager

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Five months after opening for business, Banco del Instituto Ecuatoriano de Seguridad Social (BIESS) is Ecuador's leading mortgage lender and on its way to becoming a heavy hitter in consumer lending as well, BIESS general manager Efraín Vieira told BNamericas.

Vieira noted that the bank, whose mandate is to manage the funds collected through the country's social security system, has its sights set on lending US$845mn of those funds to home buyers before the end of the year.

"Some 70% of our customers are people who live on US$1,000 or less per month," Vieira said. "You have to give those people the capacity to access housing."

According to statistics from regulator SBS, the only private sector bank whose mortgage lending comes close to that number is Banco Pichincha, the largest bank in Ecuador.

Through the end of February, Pichincha had a mortgage portfolio worth US$726.5mn. Ecuador's four largest banks had combined mortgage portfolio of US$1.1bn.

The full interview with Vieira will appear in this week's Banking Perspectives, for subscribers only.