Panama's banking area

1,055Views 0Comments Posted 17/01/2023

Between 2011 and 2021 Panama registered one of the fastest advances in terms of financial deepening in the region, according to the VIII Report on Financial Inclusion of the Latin American Federation of Banks (Felaban) released in December 2022.

In the number of deposits with respect to the gross domestic product (GDP), Panama, Bolivia and Colombia are the countries that have grown the most in the last 11 years with increases of 34%, 33% and 23% respectively. In 2011 this indicator was at 91.33% in the country and at the end of 2021 it rose to 107.3%.

The report highlights that Panama registers the highest savings collection rate per number of inhabitants at the end of 2021, with $19,643 million per capita in deposits, a growth of 133.76% in 11 years.

The balance of current deposits in 2021 in Panama according to Felaban was $85,364 million as a reference for the study, these figures are not deflated by inflation.

The Superintendency of Banks (SBP) specifies that at the end of 2021 total deposits climbed to exceed $97 billion above the regional estimate. By November 2022 they reached $98 thousand 848 million. This represents $23,429 in deposits per inhabitant.

Felaban points out that Panama is the Latin American country that leads the highest credit portfolio balance weighted by number of inhabitants, with a proportion of $15,700 per inhabitant at the end of 2021, while in 2011 credits were at $7,681 per person.

At the end of November of last year, the loan portfolio of the National Banking System in Panama was $58,924 million, an average of $13,966 of loans per inhabitant.

Another indicator of financial deepening has to do with the number of credit and debit cards in circulation in the region. It is estimated that at the end of 2021 there were 1,56 million cards, of which 701 million were debit, and 355.4 million credit.

Clave debit cards in circulation, an increase of 20.4%, compared to 2021, for a total of 238 million transactions. This increase has been due in part to the participation of international franchises such as Visa and Mastercard, which have also increased their market share.