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Popular, Inc

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Popular, Inc

This article is about the bank based in Puerto Rico. For the bank based in Spain, see Banco Popular Español.
Popular, Inc.
Traded as BPOP
Industry Finance and Insurance
Founded San Juan (1893-10-05)
Headquarters Hato Rey, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Key people Richard Carrión, Chairman & CEO
Products Banking
Checking Accounts
Stock brokerage
Investment Bank
Asset-Based Lending
Consumer finance
Revenue DecreaseUS$ 3.82 billion (2007)[1]
Operating income DecreaseUS$ 789 million (2007)[1]
Net income DecreaseUS$ -64 million (2007)[1]
Employees 13,210 (2005)[2]

Popular, Inc., doing business as Banco Popular in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and as Popular Community Bank in the United States, is a financial services conglomerate that has been operating in Puerto Rico for almost 120 years and in the United States for over 52 years. In recent years, it has expanded into other areas of the Caribbean and Central America. The BPPR in the logo stands for Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, where the bank has its major historical footprint.

Popular, Inc. is the parent company of Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Banco Popular North America, Evertec, E-Loan, and several other companies.

The headquarters of Banco Popular Puerto Rico are located in Hato Rey, Puerto Rico.


The bank was founded in Puerto Rico in 1893 when the island was still under Spanish administration, and was led in its early stages by Rafael Carrión, Sr.

During the 1970s, the company's commercials were very popular on Puerto Rican television: they presented a balding, middle aged man in a white tee shirt, announcing the company in a comic way. The 1970s also saw a giant step in the development of Banco Popular as Puerto Rico's biggest bank, when it bought two-thirds of the Banco de Crédito y Ahorro Ponceño. By buying this bank, Popular entered the credit-card industry.

During the following decades, Banco Popular put a lot of emphasis on the company's public image. It was during the 1980s, after Rafael Carrion, Sr.'s death, that Richard L. Carrión took over as President of the corporation.

In 1989, the bank introduced a children's savings service with a bear, "Populoso", as its mascot. The Club del Ahorro (or Savings Club) was (and still is) intended to encourage children to open savings accounts and keep track of their money.


The following decade started with a big development for the bank, when in 1990 it merged with Banco de Ponce, one the largest banks in Puerto Rico. At this time, Banco Popular's holding company changed its name to BanPonce Corporation. Popular acquired Banco Roig, one of the main banks in the eastern side of the island, in 1997, entering a geographical market they had yet to succeed in.

During the late 1990s, the company began to diversify its services thanks to revisions of state laws that allowed banks certain 'privileges' related to different financial services other than banking. These years saw the birth of Popular Auto, Popular Finance, Popular Mortgage, Popular Insurance, Popular Leasing, among others.

During this time, the company created one of its flagship subsidiaries, Popular Securities. It quickly became the investment banking, retail brokerage, and institutional sales arm of Banco Popular. On the retail side, Popular Securities has an extensive network of brokers in Puerto Rico, rivaled only by Swiss giant UBS and more recently by Banco Santander. Popular Securities has additional offices in New York City, San Antonio, Houston, and Chicago.


Due to its growth in Puerto Rico, and the aggressive expansion in the United States, the company changed its name once again in 2000 to Popular, Inc., a name that goes back to the traditional roots of the corporation and which also reflects the common title in almost all of the subsidiaries of the company.

It was during this time that the company divided itself into three main subsidiary companies: Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, with David Chafey, Jr. as its current president; Banco Popular North America, with Roberto Herencia as the current president; and Evertec, with Felix Villamil as its current president. Richard Carrión remained as president and CEO of the parent company, Popular, Inc.

Evertec was born after the purchase of the GM Group. The main purpose of Evertec is to serve as a processing company (related to the ATM network, card processes, POS, and other technical details). Evertec is not limited to Banco Popular, as it also serves other banks in the island. This subsidiary also maintains Popular's overseas networks (especially ATH Dominicana and ATH Costa Rica).

In the 24 January 2005 issue of Fortune Magazine, Popular, Inc. was chosen as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.

On 11 April 2005, an agreement was announced between Banco Popular North America and the New York Mets. Under the five-year agreement, Popular will operate seven ATMs and display various advertisements at Shea Stadium.


Popular's world headquarters are located in the San Juan's Hato Rey business district, on a stretch of a thoroughfare commonly known as La Milla de Oro ("The Golden Mile") due to the number of banks headquartered in the area. Travelers who fly into the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport can appreciate Popular's landmark building below.

Banco Popular is currently the largest bank in Puerto Rico, the largest company (public or private) in Puerto Rico, and the largest Hispanic bank in the United States. It is classified as one of the top 100 banks nationwide. Its subsidiaries are also considered top-rated, with a customer base that grows each year.

Recently, Popular updated its web site to be more user-friendly, with services such as SMS warnings for account balances (both from Popular and other banks), online payments for their products, other companies, and the state government (including credit cards with other banks, water utility bills, electricity bills, among others), credit card forms, and more. Banco Popular also released its new ad campaign: "En Mi Banco Se Puede" ("In my bank it's possible"), along with a series of aggressive ads targeting non-customers, consumers that have left the bank, or current customers who are starting to consider leaving the bank.

As of January, 2012, Popular, Inc. still owed $935 million to the US government Troubled Asset Relief Program.[3]

In March 2013, Popular announced it would sell a $568 million portfolio of non-performing loans to a joint venture between Caribbean Property Group and funds affiliated with Perella Weinberg Partners.[4]


  • Ranked the 784th Largest Company In The World by Forbes (2006).
  • Ranked the 84th Best Company to Work For by Fortune Magazine (2005).
  • Ranked the Best Consumer Internet Bank in Puerto Rico by Global Finance (2007).
  • Has over $45 billion in assets.
  • Approx. 13,000 employees.
  • Symbol: BPOP (Nasdaq)


  • 1893: A group of local Puerto Rican and Spanish notables founded the Sociedad Anónima de Economías y Préstamos (later Banco Popular de Economías y Préstamos) on 5 October 1893. The founders wanted to create a thrift institution for the island's poor to encourage savings.
  • 1928: First bank in Puerto Rico to offer personal loans without collateral.
  • 1930: Popular acquired the Banco Comercial de Puerto Rico. This bank had begun in 1857 as Banco Español de Puerto Rico and changed its name to Banco de Puerto Rico in 1900. Then in 1913 it changed its name to Banco Comercial de Puerto Rico.
  • 1938: First bank in Puerto Rico to offer an FHA mortgage loan.
  • 1950: Popular becomes the largest bank in Puerto Rico.
  • 1961: Popular opened a branch in New York City (Bronx) to serve the Puerto Rican community there.
  • 1973: First bank in Puerto Rico to offer combined accounts.
  • 1975: Popular opened a branch in Los Angeles. Although US banks could not branch across state lines, non-US banks could. The California State Superintendent of Banking declared Puerto Rico "international", allowing Popular to open a branch in reciprocity for the branch Bank of America had opened in Puerto Rico.
  • 1984: Popular took over the failed Washington National Bank, a locally-owned bank catering to the Hispanic community in Chicago. Popular also launched the first automated teller machine network in the island.
  • 1988: Popular is the first bank in Puerto Rico to offer phone-banking.
  • 1990: Popular merged with Banco de Ponce to create the largest bank in Puerto Rico. The holding company took the name BanPonce. (Banco de Ponce had established an agency in New York that it had converted to a branch in 1961. At the time of the merger, Banco de Ponce had nine branches in New York to Popular's six.)
  • 1991: Popular acquired the deposits and one branch of New York Capital Bank in upper Manhattan, an unsuccessful attempt to revive the failed Capital National Bank, which had served most of the Dominican small businesses there.
  • 1992: Popular acquired seven branches from the failed American Savings Bank, four branches and their deposits from Bank Leumi Trust Company, and one branch and its deposits from Northside Savings Bank.
  • 1993: Popular became the largest bank in the Virgin Islands when it acquired CoreStates First Pennsylvania Bank's five branches there. Century Anniversary.
  • 1994: Popular bought Pioneer Bank in Chicago and merged it with Popular's existing operations. Popular also entered New Jersey by buying four branches from the failed Carteret Savings Bank. It then opened two more branches, to form Banco Popular FSB (a federal savings association).
  • 1995: Popular established the ATH Dominicana ATM network in the Dominican Republic. (ATH stands for "A Toda Hora". i.e., "at all hours".)
  • 1996: Popular bought American Midwest Bank for its two branches in suburban Melrose Park, a Chicago suburb that was drawing Hispanics. In California, Popular created a subsidiary, Banco Popular NA (California), bought Commerce National Bank, and transferred to it the branch that it had established in 1975.
  • 1997: Popular acquired the Seminole Bank branch in Sanford, Florida, and Banco Roig in Puerto Rico.
  • 1998: Popular made Chicago the headquarters for the US Executive Offices of its subsidiary, Popular North America, which took over all its US mainland commercial activities. In the Dominican Republic, Popular took a minority position in Banco Fiduciario, the fourth largest bank, a stake that it later built up to a majority position. Popular entered Costa Rica as it had entered the Dominican Republic, Popular entered Costa Rica in the same way as it had entered the Dominican Republic, i.e., by establishing an ATM network, ATH Costa Rica.
  • 1999: Popular bought First State Bank of Southern California from Korea's Hanil Bank and merged it with Popular (California). In the Chicago area, Popular bought Irving Bank, Water Tower Bank and Aurora National Bank. Popular also bought Banco Popular, a start-up bank in Orlando, Florida, and Citizens Bank in Houston, Texas. In addition, Popular bought the GM Group, entering the processing business.
  • 2000: Popular begins its online banking system at
  • 2001: Popular buys three branches in Puerto Rico's central mountain region from BBVA.
  • 2005: Popular completes acquisition of Quaker City Bank, establishing California as the largest region of Banco Popular North America. Popular also purchases New Jersey's Infinity Mortgage for an undisclosed amount. On 3 August 2005, Popular announced the purchase of E-Loan for an estimated $300 million merger agreement. A month later, on September 21, Popular announces that they will sell Popular Cash Express to ACE Cash Express for $36 million. Popular was ranked as the 691st largest company in the world by Forbes.
  • 2006: Banco Popular North America relocates its California Region headquarters to Anaheim, CA headed by Vernon Aguirre.
  • 2007: Banco Popular North America sells 5 of six branches in Texas region to Prosperity Bank.
  • 2007: Banco Popular acquires Citibank's retail business in Puerto Rico, including nine branches, as well as the operations in Puerto Rico of broker-dealer Smith Barney, a Citibank subsidiary.
  • 2008: Popular agrees to sell certain assets of Equity One, the U.S. mainland consumer finance operations of Popular Financial Holdings, to American General Finance, a member of American International Group.

Subsidiaries and Services

Puerto Rico

  • Banco Popular de Puerto Rico
  • Popular Auto
  • Popular Mortgage
  • Popular Securities
  • Popular Asset Management
  • Popular Insurance
  • Ticketpop (Operated by Evertec)
  • Plazapop
  • WesternBank Puerto Rico

United States

  • Banco Popular North America
  • Popular Small Business Capital
  • Banco Popular National Association
  • Popular Equipment Finance
  • Equity One
  • E-Loan

Virgin Islands

  • Banco Popular Virgin Islands

Other Countries

  • ATH Dominicana (Operated by Evertec)
  • ATH Costa Rica (Operated by Evertec)

Former Subsidiaries

  • Popular Cash Express (sold to ACE Cash Express on 09/21/2005)

Musical Tradition

For its 100th Anniversary celebration, Popular gathered a group of famous Latin-American musicians in an effort to create a musical televised show. After the large success of this venture, the company began to produce annual live Christmas concerts and television specials with various Puerto Rican and international singers and artists. The 1996 version included the future star Shakira. The concerts and specials are aired in local television stations and then released on CDs and DVD, raising money for the company's philanthropic foundation (Fundación Banco Popular) which benefits a variety of non-profit organizations in the island.

The titles of the musicals are:

  • 1993 - Un Pueblo que Canta (People Who Sing)
  • 1994 - El Espíritu de un Pueblo (The Spirit of a People)
  • 1995 - Somos un Solo Pueblo (We Are Only One People)
  • 1996 - Al Compás de un Sentimiento (At The Rhythm of a Feeling)
  • 1997 - Siempre Piel Canela (Always Brown Skin)
  • 1998 - Romance del Cumbanchero (Romance of The Cumbanchero)
  • 1999 - Con La Música Por Dentro (With The Music Within)
  • 2000 - Guitarra Mía: Un Tributo a José Feliciano (My Guitar: a Tribute To José Feliciano)
  • 2001 - Raíces (Roots)
  • 2002 - Encuentro (Encounter)
  • 2003 - Ocho Puertas (Eight Doors)
  • 2004 - En Mi País (In My Country)
  • 2005 - Queridos Reyes Magos (Dear Wise Men)
  • 2006 - Viva Navidad (Viva Christmas)
  • 2007 - Lo Mejor de Nuestra Música Popular: 15 Años de Éxitos (The Best of Our Music "Popular": 15 Years of Hits)
  • 2008 - Eco (Echo)
  • 2009 - Palés y La Rumba de Esquina (Palés and the Corner Rumba)
  • 2010 - Salsa: Un Homenaje a El Gran Combo (Salsa: A Homage to El Gran Combo)
  • 2011 - Sonó, Sonó: Tite Curet (Sounded, It Sounded: Tite Curet)
  • 2012 - Hecho con Sabor a Puerto Rico (Made with Flavor of Puerto Rico)

Online Discography

Competitors (in Puerto Rico)


On May 14, 2009, Popular Inc was charged for violating the Exchange Act by failing to disclose between January 23, 2008 and January 22, 2009 material adverse facts about Popular’s true financial condition, business and prospects,[6] and paid 37500000 dollars for settlement.

References Prosperity Bank 22OCT2007

External links

Puerto Rico portal
Companies portal

Popular, Inc.

  • Official Site
  • Financial Highlights
  • Annual Financial Reports


  • E-Loan (Purchased by Popular, Inc 2005)
  • Evertec Official Site
  • Popular Equipment Finance
  • Popular Auto
  • Popular Mortgage
  • EquityOne (A Popular, Inc Subsidiary)
  • Popular Securities
  • Popular Insurance
  • TicketPop (Ticket Sale service operated by Popular)
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