FACEBANK Remains Stable Amidst Pandemic With Its Asset Base in South Florida
"Foreign investors interested in the South Florida real estate market have a strong banking option even in the midst of the challenges posed by the global COVID-19 pandemic, as FACE BANK International (FACEBANK) got confirmation from credit rating agency DBRS Morningstar of its solid forecast," informed general manager Julio Carbonell.
In its most recent review, DBRS favorably considered FACEBANK's strict compliance with U.S. regulatory agencies, its business structure, and its unique status as the only International Bank Entity (IBE) that maintains a real-time online connection with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Those key factors contributed to the rating that they were awarded o 2019, which has remained at BB for a second year.
The rating agency highlighted that, even though it is a relatively young international bank, FACEBANK "has built a profitable banking franchise, helping its international customers transact business in the U.S."
"FACEBANK has shown improving and strong profitability metrics driven by a high net interest margin (NIM), supported by low funding costs and above average return on its residential mortgage loan portfolio, its primary loan category," states DBRS's press release. Mortgages are originated by the bank's wholly owned subsidiary, Florida Home Trust Mortgage.
FACE BANK International was founded in 2006 in Puerto Rico, territory of the United States, while its asset base is located in South Florida, mainly on counties such as Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach- where the majority of its clients acquire properties through mortgage loans with minimum down payments of up to 30%. This lowers the loan-to-value (LTV) ratio. Default rates have remained low during the pandemic, with fewer than 10% usage of moratoriums.
A third of the institution's investments are in agency bonds and low-risk products from the United States Treasury, which along with its strict evaluation standards for clients and prospective clients, has provided even greater stability. Also, earlier this year, it presented the pipolPay mobile app, a digital platform to request and submit payments in dollars.
FACEBANK has a portfolio of over 28,000 clients within Central and South America. Its International Business Development Facilitators (IBDF) must comply with strict anti-money laundering standards and be financially sound.
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