In January 2012 Scotiabank of Canada purchased a controlling stake in Banco Colpatria, which at that point was the eighth-largest lender in the country.
Locally-owned GNB Sudameris then acquired the local subsidiary of UK-based HSBC in February 2014.
According to a study of Colombia’s top 50 brands published in 2015 by consultancy firm Compass-branding, the second and third most valuable brands in the country were Banco de Bogotá and Grupo Bancolombia, respectively.
Banco de Bogotá and Grupo Bancolombia brands were each calculated to be worth around $2.5bn.
A number of other banks also made the consultancy firm’s “top brands” list, including Davivienda, Banco de Occidente, Banco Popular and Banco Colpatria.
According to results published in late 2015, the financial performance of the sector as a whole remains healthy.
Banco de Bogotá reported a 30.8% year-to-date increase in profits in June 2015, while Davivienda reported profits of COP1.1trn ($404.8m) for the first nine months of 2015, up by 24.3% on the same period the previous year.
Bancolombia’s third-quarter results were a little less encouraging, with consolidated net profit of COP524bn (2.8m), which was nevertheless down 22.1% from the previous quarter.
More generally, financial sector-wide loan portfolio growth reached 15.5% in 2015, according to the central bank of Colombia (Banco de la República de Colombia, BRC.
The SFC reported that non-performing loans rose to 3.08% of the total loan book at the end of August 2015, up from 3.05% at the beginning of the year.
Colombia’s banking system is strong and has been enjoying double-digit percentage growth in its loan portfolio.