Banco Popular: Caring for the aspirations of the Dominican Republic
'When our customers and the DR are successful, we are as well,' says Banco Popular's Francisco García
“As the most important private bank in the Dominican Republic, we touch tens of thousands of people’s lives every single day,” says Francisco García, Vice President of Investment Banking and Leasing for Banco Popular Dominicano. In this remotely-filmed interview he explains how Banco Popular supports local industry, provides nearly half the financing behind the Dominican Republic’s vitally important tourism sector, and is endeavouring to promote the country’s socioeconomic, sustainable, development.
Francisco García: As the most important private bank in the Dominican Republic, we touch tens of thousands of people’s lives every single day. We are committed to the wellbeing of present and future generations of Dominicans. So, as well as supporting individuals with their investment needs and personal aspirations, we look after their business ventures and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Dominican Republic.
Therefore, digital transformation through innovative technologies is in front of all of our decisions to make life easier for our customers, improve process efficiency, and expand the reach of our promise of value to society.
Francisco García: Supporting our local industry is particularly important to us, because they are a main source of employment and development for the DR, and we have different financing solutions for them.
One product that stands out is Leasing Popular, which facilitates the acquisition of vehicles, generators, construction and medical equipment, computers and other fixed assets our clients need.
We also have Leasing Popular Verde, which helps our customers purchase solar panels and electric vehicles.
Tourism is the most important industry for the Dominican economy, and we’re proud that Banco Popular provides nearly half of the financing in that sector of the country. We launched, alongside with the Ministry of Tourism, the campaign ‘Tourism in Every Corner’, which encourages foreign and domestic tourists to explore the entire the island – not just the usual destinations. Through this campaign we seek to care for our cultural and natural resources: generating economic growth and stable jobs with the involvement of local communities and a sustainable approach.
Francisco García: Commitment to sustainability has always been part of our core values at Banco Popular. In 2019, we became the first and only bank in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean to join the United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative, and their Principles for Responsible Banking, which is meant to mobilise the financial sector for sustainable development.
In 2020, Banco Popular launched Hazte Eco, being the first financial institution to have a green portfolio of financing solutions, which has grown every year since.
Our goal is to reduce our environmental footprint, with additional initiatives such as the installation of solar panels in more than 50 of our branches throughout the country, and more efficient light and water control systems, eco efficiency and culture recycling programmes for our employees and clients, and carbon footprint measurements.
Francisco García: Sustainable financing is in the forefront of our business model. Banco Popular has participated in the financing of renewable energy projects for approximately $380 million, which translates into more than 400 MW of renewable energy in the Dominican Republic, where Banco Popular act as lender, administrative agent, or collateral agent. By year end 2023, we expect to have increased this portfolio to more than 1,000 MW, and a total of 18 projects.
Additionally, we understand that education is the engine that leads society towards the development of a sustainable economic model. Therefore we have the largest scholarship programme of the Dominican financial sector – Excelencia Popular, with interest in supporting STEM-related careers.
Francisco García: We want to make all our customers’ aspirations come true, help to promote the country’s socioeconomic development, and do it all with clear dedication to sustainability. So, moving forward, we will continue to listen to our customers, bringing them the latest innovations to keep them competitive – both on the island and internationally – and grow alongside them. Because when our customers and the DR are successful, we are as well.