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EDB Launches Credito Empresarial Credit Card
Designed for owners of small and midsize businesses
By KEN OLIVER-MENDEZ
February 27, 2003
The Economic Development Bank (EDB) is out to provide the islands small and midsize-business owners with an attractive new means to access operating capital quickly: the Credito Empresarial credit card for entrepreneurs.
"This is destined to be a flagship product," said Francisco Rodriguez, EDB executive vice president. The credit card--modeled after one launched by the EDB for Puerto Rico farmers last year--has a $25,000 maximum credit line, a fixed 7.5% interest rate, and a $50 annual fee.
EDB President Antonio Faria said that in addition to providing an efficient and effective new financial tool for local businesspeople, the credit card has the virtue of being extremely convenient. "Businesspeople can apply for the credit card online at www.bdepr.org," said Faria. "The turnaround on the application is a matter of days."
Rodriguez said an EDB client who has been approved for the card can expect to receive it through the mail as quickly as two days later.
Faria said as many as 100,000 small and midsize-business clients islandwide have been identified as possible candidates for the credit card, which was launched during a press conference at the EDB attended by top officials from leading business organizations, including the Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce, the United Retailers Association, the Puerto Rico Manufacturers Association, and the Puerto Rico Hotel & Tourism Association.
At the event, Faria distributed the EDBs latest product to more than half a dozen businesspeople representing various sectors. Rodriguez said the credit card could easily add as much as $16 million to the EDBs loan portfolio. "This is another major step in the EDBs efforts to enhance the ability of our businesspeople to compete," he said.
Faria also revealed that loan delinquencies at the bank have fallen by 36% during his first seven months at the helm of the EDB. Additionally, more than $2.5 million has been collected from businesses with loans that had been written off. That compares to collections of $629 million during the same period a year ago.
"Weve been rolling up our sleeves and hitting the streets," said Faria, who indicated that as part of the banks more aggressive collection efforts, he now requires regular visits to clients.
This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.