The deputy managing director of the International Business of BPA, Pablo Laplana, who explained that 2012 has been a very good year for the international division, due to the fact that it has seen a growth of 40% in its business in the current market, added that they are currently working from the Andorra branch “to concentrate and focus on private banking”.
BPA currently has a bank and a brokerage house in Panama, a financial advisor in Switzerland, another one in Uruguay and also one in Luxemburg. Several years ago they tried to penetrate the Mexican market with a representative office, but according to Laplana, “having seen the cost/benefit we decided on a strategic closure”.
“In the last seven years, our organic growth in the area of international business has come from Latin America”, a region to which one goes for cultural affinity, however the future strategy of this entity includes expansions to Asia and Eastern Europe, where “the policy change requires you to adapt to an institutional and commercial level”, explained Laplana in an interview with Funds Society.
"The clients from Latin America are searching for stability and security and they flee from dull and complex products”
According to Laplana, despite the economic crisis in Europe and in the United States, Latin America and Asia have experienced rapid growth, which for BPA implies, “there are opportunities far beyond the traditional business”. The coordination of the business in Latin America is done from Andorra, because “we believe that it is more efficient and effective to directly interact with the main offices of the group”.
As to the possibility of opening an office in Miami, a market where other Andorran banks – Andbank, Credit Andorra and Mora – are present, Laplana expressed that they know the place very well but “for the time being it doesn’t benefit us from an operating and economic point of view”.
Their clients have an average portfolio of half a million dollars, and their money is deposited in Andorra.
They have personal advisory for clients who are looking for proximity and quality service. BPA has its own investment team in private banking, with a staff of 30 people.
According to Laplana, in Latin America the client has more exposure to fixed income than equity, with a more conservative profile “because they already have the risk factor by living in this region. The clients from Latin America are searching for stability and security and they flee from dull and complex products”, he concluded.