Governmental organization Central Bank of Venezuela, or Banco Central de Venezuela (BCV), is the country’s central monetary authority. It also serves as the governing agent of the Clearing House System. Founded in 1939, BCV oversees banks in Venezuela and keeps a fixed exchange rate for the Venezuelan bolívar.
Aside from the central bank, the state banking system is composed of regional and development banks that are managed by the Venezuelan Development Corp., commercial banks, investment banks, mortgage banks in Venezuela, as well as savings and loan associations.
In May 2021, Moody’s Investors Service provided a bond rating of C based on its economic strength, reflecting the moderate size of the Venezuelan economy, seven consecutive years of economic contraction, and the collapse of its troubled oil sector; Venezuela’s “ca” institutions and governance strength, reflecting very weak institutions and recent defaults; its “ca” fiscal strength, taking account of the government’s hefty debt burden and fiscal deficits funded by the central bank that fuel hyperinflation; and its “ca” susceptibility to event risk, reflecting a distressed liquidity position with ongoing defaults on all external debt and heightened domestic political risk.
For anyone considering a career in banking in Venezuela, this list of top banks in Venezuela is a helpful guide on where to start. To learn more, see our list of financial institutions.
Top Banks in Venezuela Include:
Mercantil Servicios Financieros
Mercantil Servicios Financieros, through its subsidiaries, engages in the banking, insurance, and wealth management businesses in Latin America. It offers health, automobile, and equity insurance, trust and custody services, investment banking services, and mutual funds. Incorporated in 1997, the bank is based in Caracas, Venezuela. It employs around 3,100 individuals.
Net income: VES 74.43 trillion (2020)
Total assets: VES 590.47 trillion (3/2021)
With 340 branches, over 115,000 POS and 1,377 ATMs throughout Venezuela, Banesco is the largest private banking institution in the country, providing products and services to more than six-million clients. It is part of the upper stratum of the Bank Ranking of Superintendency of the Institutions of the Banking Sector of Venezuela (SUDEBAN), which is responsible for ensuring banks in Venezuela comply with local regulations.
Banesco is also a member of the Banking Association of Venezuela. Its headquarters is in Caracas, the largest bank headquarters in Latin America. Founded in 1986, it lists around 45,700 employees.
Net income: VES 10.39 trillion (2020)
Total assets: VES 430.20 trillion (3/2021)
Banco Mercantil Americano was founded in 1917. Its name changed to Banco Neerlando Venezolano in 1925. After a year, it was renamed Banco Mercantil y Agrícola or Mercantile and Agricultural Bank. The bank is based in Caracas, Venezuela, and employs around 7,300 employees.
In the 1970s, Banco Mercantil established subsidiaries in several countries, including Mexico, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, Curacao, El Salvador, Peru, Germany, the Caribbean, the US, and the UK.
Banco de Venezuela
International universal bank Banco de Venezuela was established in 1883 under the name Banco Comercial. It adopted its current name in 1990. It already operated in 10 branches in Venezuela in 1920. At that time, there was still no central bank in the country, so Banco de Venezuela was one of the banks in Venezuela that owned the right to issue banknotes until 1940.
Banco del Caribe (Bancaribe)
Based in Caracas, Banco del Caribe or Bancaribe operates through 113 branches in the country, offering universal banking products and services to over 800,000 customers. Founded in 1954, the private bank is part of the medium stratum of the Bank Ranking of SUDEBAN. With about 1,130 employees, Bancaribe operates out of Caracas.
Net income: VES 2.09 trillion (2020)
Total assets: VES 53.31 trillion (2020)
Banco Nacional de Crédito
Venezuelan commercial bank Banco Nacional de Crédito (BVC: BNC) or BNC was established in 1977 as Banco Tequendama branch of the Banco Tequendama Colombia. In 2003, it changed its name to Banco Nacional de Crédito. In 2009, it acquired Stanford Bank Venezuela, which was controlled by Stanford Financial Group.
Banco Venezolano de Crédito (BNC)
Founded in 1925, general bank Venezolano de Crédito is one of the largest banks in Venezuela. Headquartered in Caracas, the bank offers a range of banking products and services including deposits, checking and savings accounts, foreign currency transactions, custody of securities, and commercial and personal loans.
The bank oversees a network of 71 branches, 55 of which are conventional, 12 are located within the premises of the most important corporations in Venezuela, and 12 are located in commercial sites, taking advantage of public traffic. It also operates a branch in the Cayman Islands, British West Indies. Established in 1998, it employs around 950 employees.
Formerly known as BBVA Banco Provincial, the financial institution Banco Provincial was established in 1952 in Caracas. It was considered the first of universal banks in Venezuela to provide specialized banking solutions.
The majority of BBVA Provincial was acquired by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, currently known as Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, as part of its expansion into Latin America. It operates through a network of approximately 320 offices and 1,700 ATMs and a telephone network. It lists around 2, 018 employees.
Net income: VES 5.84 trillion (2020)
Total assets: VES 513.89 trillion (3/2021)
Banco Bicentenario del Pueblo
Banco Bicentenario del Pueblo was founded in 2009, following the merger among state-owned banks Banfoandes, Bolívar, Central, and Confederado. The bank provides financial services and accounts for about 20% of the country’s total bank deposits.