ABN Amro Uruguay

ABN Amro Uruguay’s ability to turn in an excellent performance even under the most adverse economic conditions makes it the judges’ choice as the winner for the third consecutive year.

Uruguay’s banking market was one of the hardest hit by last year’s Argentinian financial crisis: 40% of its bank deposits were wiped out in the event. At ABN Amro Uruguay, the leading foreign bank in the country with 23 retail branches, assets declined 32.2% primarily due to the bank run.

Yet, despite this challenge, the bank remained highly profitable in 2002, raising net profit by 55% and improving its ROE to 37.4% from 28% in 2001. It even cut its cost-to-income ratio to 44.5% from a high of 69.2%.

And in another demonstration of its strength, the bank built on its strong position in the local retail industry, raising its share of cash machines to 43% from 23% and capturing a 31% share of the credit card market. Investor confidence in ABN Amro Uruguay was, moreover, underscored by a 9% rise in total assets under management.

“Despite a profound crisis in the Uruguayan financial community, ABN Amro remained a silent and strong beacon of refuge and value creation. We were the only bank with strong results in 2002 and an efficiency ratio below 45%, the best in 50 years,” said Eric Simon, ABN Amro’s Uruguay country representative.


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