Tuesday 20 April 2021

Banks try to entice borrowers with online offers amid suspension of housing and car fairs

Financial entities launch online promotions of discounts on commission costs and free appraisals. Offers will be maintained, in some cases, until the middle of the year.

QCOSTARICA – Financial entities seek through the use of their virtual channels to promote the placement of new loans due to the impossibility, for the second consecutive year, of participating in face-to-face fairs for the sale of homes and automobiles.

This is year will the second year without Expomóvl, one of the most important car fairs for new car dealers and banks. The last was held in March 2019.

The covid-19 pandemic closed the possibility of banks having direct contact with up to 30,000 people who would attend fairs on new housing developments and new car models.

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The most relevant activities, prior to the health crisis, were Expoconstrucción and Expomóvil, which took place in the first three months of each year. As well as Expocasa, which has been held typically in August every year.

Like last year, banks will once again try to entice car buyers with offers that include lower interest rates, lower fees for bank services, commissions to place financing, free appraisals, reduction in the cost of legal fees, or the elimination of additional charges to the debtor who makes additional repayments to a loan, among others.

Last year the local financial system ended with a 0.1% contraction of the loan portfolio. But for 2021 a growth of 3.6% is projected, according to the Banco Central (Central Bank).

Esteban Jiménez, Director of Personal Banking at Davivienda, explained that in order to promote reactivation they created a special virtual portal where individuals and families find special promotions.

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“Efforts were joined with the construction and automotive sectors to contribute to the growth of the country. We have more than 150 pre-qualified real estate projects and 16 vehicle dealerships to offer special conditions on more than 35 car brands,” said Jiménez.

At Scotiabank, Mari José Acuña, senior manager of Loans, highlighted that, since September of last year, they launched a platform on the bank’s website for the sale of cars and homes.

Other entities that took the same route of using their virtual channels to boost loans are the State banks, Banco Nacional (BN) and Banco de Costa Rica (BCR).

In the case of home purchase, financing can be up 95% of the property’s appraised value. And even up to 100% of the value of the property when it is a repossessed property.

There is also the option for the client to use a housing bond as a down payment to obtain the loan.

“The housing bond allows the family to cover the down payment on the purchase of their home, which generally ranges between 5% and 10%. In this way, the family would enjoy 100% financing in the purchase of their house,” explained Marco Ulate, loan executive at Grupo Mutual.

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