Coral Gables-based bank receives $11.9M from shareholders to drive growth


Banesco USA received a $11.9 million capital injection from its shareholders to jump-start its growth and digital offerings in 2019, the bank announced on Monday.

The news follows a record-breaking year for the Coral Gables-based bank, which saw its assets reach $1.25 billion in 2018.

Banesco USA will use the $11.9 million to support its technology innovations, including financial tech partnerships, and website and mobile banking redesigns, said President and CEO Jorge Salas.

“The digital investments will help fuel growth,” Salas told the South Florida Business Journal. “But we’re still focused on reaching more small and medium-sized businesses and increasing our commercial and industrial loans.”

Established in 2006, Banesco USA has three branches in Miami-Dade, one in Broward and one in Puerto Rico.

Salas said the bank will open a new, signature branch in Aventura during the first quarter of 2019. The location, he said, will feature an open-space concept, with room for customer seating and no teller lines.

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Banesco USA Gets over $11 Million in Capital to Fuel Growth

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Banesco USA has received $11,906,362 capital injection from its shareholders to continue its growth and technological innovations across South Florida in 2019. The increase in capital marks a highly successful year for the local bank.

“2018 was a record-breaking year for us,” said Jorge Salas, Banesco USA President and CEO. “We embarked on a series of new fintech partnerships this year, streamlined our website and mobile banking platform, and surpassed all of our benchmark financial figures from 2017. We look forward to continuing this pattern of growth and innovation in 2019,” he added.

Among its 2018 highlights, the Coral Gables-based bank achieved $131 million in loans over the past 12 months, increasing its total loans by 16 percent.

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How community banks can survive

There’s a revolution, of sorts, transforming the banking industry, as large and small banks alike invest in financial technology and rethink their culture to broaden their appeal and lure younger customers into the fold.

At least a decade ago, big banks were quick to invest enormous sums to build state-of-the-art web and mobile banking platforms. But the costs linked to those innovations meant community banks were late to the game, with some now just beginning to invest in the digital tech that customers have come to demand from banks.

To say community banks are scrambling to play catch-up with online banking isn’t an understatement. But they’re doing so at a time when more of them fight for their existence due to the steady stream of mergers and acquisitions that slashed the number of local banks in South Florida. It’s a trend of utmost concern to small businesses, which have long depended on community banks as a chief source of financing.

Meanwhile, the institutions that persist are not only revamping their websites and mobile platforms but reinventing their hiring practices and redesigning branches to stay relevant. It’s all part of their multi-prong strategies to retain existing customers and lure new ones in a world increasingly altered by the convenience and personalization of tech and how millennials like to do business.

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Banesco USA’s Jorge Salas on making work a better experience

Jorge Salas loves a challenge.

That’s probably why he’s spent the bulk of his career helping companies grow.

Salas has been president and CEO of Banesco USA since 2014, but his career with the bank began years before. Previously, as head of Banesco Panama, Salas expanded the brand in Panama and established offices in the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

Banesco USA recently celebrated one of its most successful quarters, with total assets reaching $1.25 billion for the nine months ended Sept. 30. The bank also reported huge gains in net income, loans and deposits during the third quarter. With plans to begin 2019 with a new branch in Aventura, Banesco USA intends to see even more growth in the new year.

Salas sat down with the Business Journal to talk about his background, banking, and a career that’s taken him from Venezuela to South Florida.

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