Banco Popular: Catalysing social and economic progress in the Dominican Republic

Arturo Grullón Finet explains Banco Popular's 55-year mission to improve financial inclusion in the Dominican Republic

March 12, 2019

Fifty-five years ago, Banco Popular was established in the Dominican Republic with the mission to democratise banking services. Today, improving financial inclusion in the country means embracing mobile and digital, and putting the bank in the palm of people’s hands. Arturo Grullón Finet, Executive Vice President of Personal Businesses and Branches, discusses how important digital transformation is to reaching the DR’s unbanked, as well as the bank’s broader mission to improving life in the country in a sustainable way.

Watch our other new video with Banco Popular Dominicano, in which Arturo introduces the first Banco Popular Digital Centre.

Arturo Grullón Finet: As one of the largest banks in the country, and the leader of digital transformation, we believe that mobile and digital are the game changer when it comes to financial inclusion.

Imagine: in the Dominican Republic, out of every 100 people, 85-90 people have mobile phones. This means that a strong mobile platform puts the bank in the palm of their hands.

This is the way to increase banking penetration, definitely. And it is the way to give credit access to more Dominicans than ever before.

We are a company based on strong moral values and strong corporate governance. Our mission has been for the last 55 years to be a catalyst for social and economic progress in the Dominican Republic. How do we put our mission into action? I could mention to you several programmes. One that is very close to my heart is Impulsa Popular, which is a training platform and financial products for small businesses.

We foster an entrepreneurial culture among our young customers, in order to develop nationwide: successful, innovative, sustainable businesses, that create jobs and boost domestic development.

We’ve been expanding the scope of our financial training programme: Finances with a Purpose – with which we have been able to reach 60,000 people, providing basic personal financial education and tools.

In addition, we are aware of the high vulnerability of the Dominican Republic to the effects of climate change. This fact has made the bank develop different initiatives with the aim of mitigating and reducing our carbon footprint. One important example is that we as a company maintain the leadership as the largest generator of solar energy in the whole Dominican Republic. Today we have more than 11,000 solar panels installed throughout the country in our branches.

For 55 years we have been the leader in promoting financial inclusion for all Dominicans. We have worked to create opportunities that make peoples’ aspirations become a reality on a sustainable environment.

We look to the future with optimism, because we are convinced that together we can build a better society, with innovation and entrepreneurial ideas.

We serve small businesses, export businesses, the hotel industry, and young entrepreneurs with the same passion. And we plan on doing so for the next 55 years.