The general manager of the Andorran Banking Association, Esther Puigcercós Font, tells Stefanie Linhardt how the country's banks are becoming more transparent, and explains how they are adhering to EU standards despite the country not being a member of the union.
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Andorra’s finance minister, Jordi Cinca, explains to Stefanie Linhardt how budget consolidation and investment in tourist infrastructure are aiding the country’s slow but steady recovery from recession.
Andorra is attempting to raise its profile on the international stage by drawing attention to its increasing transparency and attractively low taxes. Stefanie Linhardt reports.
Accusations of money laundering levelled at Banca Privada d’Andorra by the US authorities threatened to destabilise the country's banking sector, so the government had to act quickly to contain the crisis. Now, Andorran authorities are keen to show that this was an isolated case and that the wider banking sector is both closely governed and performing successfully.
Traditionally reliant on neighbour Spain for their customer base, Andorra’s banks have been forced to reassess their strategies in light of the country’s – and the rest of Europe’s – economic malaise. Instead, they are targeting the Latin American market, as well as disillusioned clients of Swiss banks, attracted to a national banking sector renowned for its discretion and stability.
Crèdit Andorrà has had a rewarding year. Its consolidation strategy in the personal, private and commercial banking divisions and the increased product offering resulted in a profit growth of more than 40%, breaking a sequence of flat profits in the previous two years.