Banking / Banesco

BBU Bank Changes Name to Banesco 

BBU Bank, a South Florida commercial bank, is changing its legal name to Banesco USA. The announcement was made by Rafael “Rafo” Saldaña, President and CEO of the banking institution based in Coral Gables, which has branches in Doral and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The name change comes 10 months after BBU Bank acquired and merged San Juan, Puerto Rico-based Banesco International Bank Corp. into its mainland U.S. domestic banking operations. Completed in September 2010, the merger gave BBU Bank an additional $16 million capital infusion and a new branch in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

Saldaña, who will continue in the same executive capacity together with the same executive team, said the Banesco name will allow the institution “to take full advantage of the excellent hemispheric reputation of Banesco…The name change will further allow our customers to leverage on this powerful brand name.”

Among other things, Saldaña noted that the acquisition and the new name “have strengthened our position to foster trade business,” while paving the way for Banesco’s continued expansion in South Florida.

“Our team is looking into opening new branches in Miami-Dade and Broward counties, specifically through mergers & acquisitions rather than building from the ground up,” Saldana noted.

Since receiving its Florida charter in 2006, the Coral Gables-based BBU Bank has provided a broad range of commercial, industrial, trade, and consumer services to both domestic and locally based international clients. Its loan portfolio grew 31% in 2010 to presently over $231 million, while deposits grew 61% to $371 million.

Saldaña anticipates Banesco is poised for continued success as a well-capitalized, full-service institution, with ample liquidity, a clean balance sheet and an excellent regulatory compliance record. He added that Banesco will continue as a “boutique” bank, with a personalized business approach that earned BBU Bank a reputation for lending to small and medium-size businesses by taking care of financial needs that many larger banks avoid because of the necessary hands-on involvement.

In keeping with its local community bank orientation, Banesco is expected to accelerate the pace of its reinvestment in the communities where it does business.

“This will be done by providing much-needed lending to the small business sectors in South Florida and Puerto Rico,” added Saldaña.

To the present customers and prospects of the former BBU Bank, Saldaña promises a “seamless transition” and offers a reassuring message: “The only change taking place is our name. Our quality of service, banking team, local management, and our hands-on approach to banking will remain the same.”

Under the Banesco name, the team is also retaining BBU’s responsive local decision-making process that has helped clients meet special borrowing requirements promptly; “to take advantage of time-sensitive business opportunities.”

BBU Bank had $429 million in assets as of June 30 2011 — just before the new name went into effect — up from $285 million on the same day a year ago.  Both its loans and deposits grew double digits during the first half of 2011.  In 2010 BBU Bank was one of the most profitable banks in South Florida and continues its profitability trend in 2011.

Banesco USA is a state-chartered Florida bank doing business as Banesco, carrying the full insurance of the FDIC. Its main business offices are located at the Banesco Center, 150 Alhambra Circle, Suite 100, Coral Gables, Florida (33134). Its new website is: .

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