Through strategic decisions that shape its corporate values, Banco Popular Dominicano has followed a core ethos of keeping its customers at the forefront of everything it does
Founded in 1963, Banco Popular Dominicano (BPD) catered to the avant garde of the industry. It offered credit facilities to undersized industries, savings and loans to the region’s rural sector, and accommodated the opening of savings accounts with low deposits. Today, BPD is less experimental, but still continues to distinguish itself in the market: growth is continuous and the client portfolio now stands at 2.7 million – not bad for a pioneer.
How do the institutional banking services at BPD differ from your competitors in the region?
RG: BPD has based its competitive advantage in several aspects: people; products; and technology. Our human resources have been a key differentiator, our real competitive advantage is ‘how we do business’, and the bank is focused on achieving maximum customer satisfaction by always showing empathy to our customers’ needs.
Does corporate philosophy shape decisions?
JM: Strategic decisions have historically been based around five corporate values: respect; integrity; innovation; teamwork; and customer satisfaction, providing clarity and trust for our stakeholders. Everyday decisions are made using these values to guide behaviour and criteria–key factors for the bank’s success. We are convinced that a company cannot succeed in a failed society. From the very beginning, the bank was founded with a mission of contributing to national development. That has been our corporate philosophy for 48 years, and it’s helped us to build trust with our customers, shareholders, employees and the Dominican society.
How important is investor relations to the bank, and how do you attract significant interest?
RG: It’s a key aspect for our business. Although it is not common in our country, Grupo Popular (the full owner of BPD) has a wide base of almost 10,000 shareholders. As well as being consistently profitable, Grupo Popular has worked hard in maintaining a healthy relationship with investors and shareholders. Periodic meetings keep them informed and close to management. Transparency and timely information has made a great difference for us.
What is BPD’s main corporate social responsibility? What is it most proud of?
JM: Our policies are focused on five main pillars: environment; education; health; community development; arts and culture. The bank is proud of its contributions to the Plan Sierra, the largest environmental programme in the country, and also the Programme for the Recondition of Rural Schools, which supports 25 institutions in impoverished areas with the collaboration of our employees. The bank’s staff helped at Navarrete last year, making the school’s restoration a reality. Working with the community to get them
involved in their own development, during the year the bank helps to manage their
finance with educational talks.
Recent figures showed strong growth this year. How will you maintain acceleration?
RG: Our growth has been based on a collective effort aimed at increasing market share. These efforts are based on strategic initiatives to increase customer satisfaction, improve product offerings and create efficient business management. Our vision is oriented to a service attitude: to work on transforming the customer experience, constantly align our people, strategies, products and channels with the vision that puts the customer at the centre of the business. In this sense, our vision makes a constant effort to develop a portfolio of value-added products that is accompanied by competence. This results in a stable growth in market share in terms of volume, profitability and brand awareness. Values-based culture has characterised BPD since its inception, and has always accompanied decision making at all levels, turning it into a differentiating factor. Our culture has enabled us to grow and gain market shares while maintaining prudent, healthy and stable growth. It also helps us achieve consistent behaviour throughout the organisation.