The U.S. Federal Reserve (Fed) announcement Wednesday of its first interest rate increase in more than nine years is expected to affect mostly interest rates on about 87 percent of Costa Ricans and companies here that took out dollar loans.
The Costa Rican Banking Association said that 95 percent of banks in the country have already started to swap out the 7 million credit and debit cards currently circulating in the country with more secure chip cards.
“These numbers show a stable, solid financial system with liquidity that is contributing to the growth of the local economy by providing financial resources to virtually all sectors, both commercial and personal.”
Vice President and Finance Minister Helio Fallas announced on Tuesday that the government will conduct an evaluation of all salary incentives and policies at public banks, following an investigation by the Comptroller General's Office last month. The investigation found that salary incentives and bonuses are hurting credit options for people and for small businesses.
A report made public this week by Costa Rica's Comptroller General's Office notes that from 2006-2012, three of the country's public banks spent ₡100 billion ($185 million) on salary incentives and bonuses for employees, which is the equivalent of almost a quarter of their total profits.