How we changed banking
Ten years ago we started a very ambitious project that is now a reality: bringing banking services to the base of the pyramid in Latin America.
No one believed that this was possible to achieve. The "experts" claimed that we would fail because "poor people do not save and not pay their loans." A rating agency downgraded Grupo Elektra’s debt, because the bank "would make the Group vulnerable." The opposite occurred.
Today we can proudly say that Banco Azteca is a very successful and profitable bank. We created a new banking model based on a broad segment of the population that was previously neglected and needs decent financial services to live and progress.
In just 10 years, Banco Azteca has become one of the top 10 financial institutions in Mexico in terms of deposits and performing loans. We have more than 16 million loan accounts and over 15 million savings accounts, a very significant number in a country of 25 million families.
We broke the industry mold worldwide and expanded our banking model to Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, Peru, and Brazil. Despite the opinions of the "experts," few would say that we have failed; in fact, more than one financial institution seeks to copy our model.
Success was not easy. We rely on experience accumulated over decades of work at the base of the pyramid and the continued development of our own technology.
We have a team of over a thousand engineers dedicated to the development of our technology, and every daily we update our computer systems to guarantee our users quality, speed, and security in their transactions. Our collection model offers proximity, trust, and a personal relationship with our customers.
But none of this by itself is sufficient without the spirit of innovation that allows us to evolve along with the communities we serve, for their expectations are becoming increasingly more sophisticated.
We are here to help our clients achieve their dreams. We want to continue supporting them so they can save and have access to world class goods and services, so they can borrow and make payments, and all without commissions, because we are the only bank that does not charge commissions.
We do not speculate with the financial resources that society entrusts us with. On the contrary, we loan money responsibly to promote individual development. We do not buy or sell toxic assets. We attract financial resources and channel them to productive and socially beneficial projects. We do not ask for government bailouts; we are a responsible and profitable bank that creates value.
Our goal is that no one be excluded from the benefits of a modern financial system.
In 10 years we have accomplished many things: we are in seven countries, have more than 5,000 branches, and tens of thousands of banking professionals working every day for our clients. Today we ratify our commitment to strive to change the lives of millions of families and transform the hemisphere through financial inclusion.
I would like to thank our customers, suppliers, and friends for their trust. We can be proud of what we have achieved together. To my colleagues I would like to express a special recognition for their extraordinary effort. We have definitely changed banking and we will continue innovating.