Medellin based Bancolombia Group is in talks to open a bank in Peru where two of its subsidiaries already operate, said the Peruvian superintendent of banking.
La Republica reported Friday that Bancolombia requested permission to open a representative office and a stock brokerage firm in Peru three months ago, according to the Superintendent of Banking and Insurance of Peru, Felipe Tam. The banking group already has two of its subsidiaries in the businesses of “renting” and “leasing” operating in Peru.
The services of both subsidiaries can be used by individuals and entrepreneurs with both referring to the business of lending money to the borrower for big purchases such a property, machinery or vehicles. With the option of leasing, the borrower also has the option to buy, but with renting, the money has to be repaid.
Tam said, “The bank has only requested permission for a representative office, but it is known that they are in talks to obtain a banking license.”
However the president of Bancolombia, Carlos Raul Yepes, denies this. He said “For now we are not thinking about opening nor buying a bank in Peru. What we are doing is expanding our operations in renting and leasing.”
Bancolombia, with assets of $27billion, has an international presence in Panama, the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, and the U.S.
Analysts believe that Bancolombia will try to replicate its banking model by starting from scratch and not by purchasing another bank as it did in El Salvador with the purchase of Banagricola.
“This is a trend among the major national banks” said Daniel Castellanos, vice president of Asobancaria.