History of the Bank

At the end of the seventies, by means of a change in the Organic Law of the Banking System, the possibility that the state commercial banks could carry out activities outside of the country, was first seen.

Thereafter, in 1972 said law was changed again, in order to permit the State Banks to select the organizations which would be the most convenient to carry out transactions abroad, under the condition that they act together.

From that moment on, a group of Costa Rican bankers started a difficult task, headed by the NATIONAL BANK which as a leading bank in 1973 presented a request for authorization to open a branch in Panama, before the Central Bank of Costa Rica. At the same time, representatives of other State Banks, also intervened with these becoming shareholders of BICSA.

In October of 1974, the Central Bank of Costa Rica issued the guidelines under which the Costa Rican state banks could open a bank in the Republic of Panama and on the 25 th of November of 1975, the General Comptroller of the Republic issued the related authorization.

From its founding on the 20 th of September of 1976, BICSA had the definite support of the State Banks, condition that up to today it still maintains, this being its principal strength and method of development in the important banking activity that it has developed in Costa Rica and abroad.

The initial capital investment was $1.25 million, with BICSA’s original objective being offering financial commercial services to the corporate client base.

Different factors were considered in choosing Panama as the country in which to install the first office of BICSA, among which the favorable legislation of the country, the presence of a strong and active financial center and the opportunities offered by initiatives such as the Central American Common Market are outstanding.

From its beginning, the operation of BICSA in Panama was developed with strong professionalism in a very competitive market, which up to today is reflected in the outstanding position that it occupies among the Panamanian banks with foreign licenses. Panama also fulfills a role in the business of correspondent banks, concentrating itself in Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.

Due to growth and diversification of banking businesses in Costa Rica orientated towards foreign commerce, at the end of the seventies, it was necessary to create an office in Costa Rica. In this way, on the 20 th of September, 1978, an office of representation was opened in San Jose. In 1978, the efforts to convert the office of San Jose into a Costa Rican private bank which offered clients a series of services specific to corporative banks and complementary services for businesses abroad, were successful.

The economic situation which Costa Rica found itself at the beginning of the eighties showed the important role of BICSA within the Costa Rican economy, since in the crisis of the external debt and the financial stagnation of the country, BICSA was an outstanding protagonist.

During this period, it was very important for BICSA to be the only medium for the member banks and the Central Bank of Costa Rica to carry out business abroad, since, because of the world economic situation, the international financial community implemented a series of measures which affected its relation with the Costa Rican banks, in such a way, that this period had great significance for BICSA since it permitted it to explore the possibilities presented for development of foreign commerce.

For the above reasons and the experience acquired during this process, the idea of installing a banking agency in the United States arose, and after various studies determined the convenience of establishing such in the State of Florida, among other reasons, because of its proximity with the Caribbean and Central America, the importance at world level of the Port of Miami and the solid international commercial structure.

In September 1983, the office of BICSA in Miami was born, with a license of international banking agency granted by the banking authorities in Tallahassee. Its activities extended to operations of foreign commerce and trying to increase its relations with the private sector, with correspondent banks as well as developing personal and private banking.

At present, besides our branch in the City of Miami, we have offices of representation in Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador and Nicaragua.


Generate growth and development opportunities for its clients, as well as operational and strategic continuity for their businesses, through comprehensive financial solutions, value-added innovative services adapted to meet their needs and strategies; while contributing to economic development, international trade and sustainability of Costa Rica and the region.

Improve the competitiveness and resilience of its clients, mainly in activities related to their need to manage competitive and sustainable businesses, through efficient and timely international financial services for complete strategic development.


  • Customer-centricity
  • Innovation
  • Diversity
  • Profitable Growth
  • Articulator
  • Adaptability
  • Comprehensive Ethics
  • Sustainability

We want incorporate in our team people with high commitment and excellence. If you want to be part of this, send your information at the following email :



Daniel González Santiesteban

Chief Executive Officer / CEO

Federico Nieto González

Chief Information Officer / CIO

Julio Cesar Justiniano

Operations Manager

Adolfo Camacho Abarca

Compliance Manager

David Rincón

Chief Financial Officer / CFO

María Eugenia Mora Junes

Planning and Administration Manager

Diana Cerrud Montenegro

Chief Risk Officer / CRO

Paola Ciniglio

Chief Legal Officer / CLO

Marian Pariente

Credit Manager

Evelia Stanziola de Cohen

Trust Services Regional Manager

Cristina Lachman Palm

Private Banking Regional Manager

Ingrid María José

BICSA Factoring Manager

Carla Corrales

BICSA Factoring Deputy Manager

Jorge Porras

Manager BICSA Fiduciaria Costa Rica

Ricardo Roy Bell

General Comptroller

Omar Moreno Barría

Chief Corporate Auditor

Guillermo Clark

Panama Country Manager

Jorge Antonio Bejarano

Country Manager Miami Agency

Randall Monge

Business Reginonal Manager

Ricardo Pacheco

Client Services Manager Costa Rica

Karla Castillo

Representative Office Manager Nicaragua

Oscar Servando

Representative Office Manager El Salvador

Christian Sommerhalder

Representative Office Manager Guatemala

Raipza Castillo

Business Development Manager Panama

Alberto Campo

Business Development Manager Miami

Armando Manolo Gallardo

Credit Card Manager

Ernesto Guevara

Manager BICSA Leasing Costa Rica r


Indicative Summary of Financial Market BICSA Panama y Miami

Date: OCT/18/2021

Value Date: OCT/20/2021

Economic Indicators (PDF)


Management objectives

The Bank, following the regulatory guidelines and best practices, has defined a Comprehensive Risk Management System, whose main objective is to promote a healthy and safe banking environment.
The function of Operational Risk is to guarantee the adequate administration of this risk, to achieve its understanding, to identify the operative risks present in the activities of the organization, to reinforce controls, to reduce the number of incidents or events, and to minimize monetary losses.

Methodology and management framework:

The Corporate Risk Management has defined a methodology and an operational risk management framework that allows carrying out the identification, measurement, mitigation, monitoring, control and information of said risk in order to minimize the levels of losses due to this. All bank staff must apply this methodology and is responsible for the proper management of operational risks associated with their areas and activities.
This methodology and management framework are fully detailed in the Operational Risk Manual, which has been approved by the Risk Directive Committee and BICSA Board of Directors. The methodology consists mainly of the following stages:
The methodology consists mainly of the following stages:

  • Identification: The risks or threats inherent in the bank´s processes and products and can cause losses are identified.

  • Measurement: The identified risks are measured based on the impact and probability of inherent and residual occurrence. Also, the collection of events and incidents of operational risk is carried out.

  • Mitigation: Definition and implementation of action plans (for cases in which risks exceed an acceptance limit).

  • Monitoring and Control: Follow-up on the defined action plans for the mitigation of the identified or occurred risks, as well as the corresponding follow-up on the key risk indicators (KRI). Also, as part of this stage, tests of the effectiveness of controls are carried out.

  • Information: Periodic reports are generated and presented on the result of the management carried out and the level of operational risk to which the Bank is exposed.

The management framework to guide the objectives and essential components of operational risk management are composed as detailed below:

Phase 1 – Culture
Stage in which all the staff of the organization is made aware of the importance of Operational Risk management through periodic training.

Phase 2 - Qualitative Management
Stage in which the organizational structure, policies, identification of risks and prioritization of responses, development of indicators, self-assessments and evaluation of Operational Risks in the Bank's new initiatives, products and / or services and significant improvements to these are defined.

Phase 3 - Quantitative Management
Stage in which the data capture and maintenance, collection of losses, calculating the capital requirement for operational risk, internal model validation and risk prevention of management information occurs.

Main achievements

Since the implementation of the operational risk management in the bank, the main achievements obtained can be listed below:

  • Strengthening the culture of operational risk based on continuous training of employees that allows them to understand and assimilate the importance of this concept from each of their work areas.

  • • The satisfactory implementation of an organizational structure for the management of Operational Risk that includes, among others:

      • An Operational Risk Department that reports to the Corporate Risk Management and this one to the Risk Directive Committee.

      • The existence of an Operational Risk Administrator, in each of the bank's work areas, who is responsible for recording the events and incidents that occur in the department. Additionally, this collaborator proactively identifies measures and monitors the risks exposure of the area.

      • Functional Managers and Process Owners are responsible for creating and promoting a culture of Operational Risk Management within their area of responsibility, perform operational risk self-assessments in their processes and when applicable, develop action plans to mitigate them and ensure that business strategies and objectives are met.

      • The alignment of BICSA’s subsidiaries under a single Operational Risk Management model.

  • A robust database compilation of events and incidents for operational risk, classified by type of loss and business lines of the organization as defined by Agreement 011-2018 of the Superintendence of Banks of Panama.

  • The strengthening of control processes and activities in the bank's operations for the prevention of risks, prioritizing and classifying the defined processes, in order to apply a methodological approach according to the level of risk of each process based on the cost-benefit ratio of the time and resources involved in applying different methodologies in relation to the impact on the Bank.

  • Perform management and minimization of operational risk that allows maintaining low levels of monetary losses due to operational risk over the years.

  • Include in the business management the process of identifying operational risks prior to the launch of a new product, service or activity offered by the entity.

  • The identification and monitoring of improvement opportunities, resulting from the various reviews and evaluations that are part of the Operational Risk Management, in conjunction with the Process Management Department and other areas through Quality Control Circles.

  • Implementation and monitoring of key risk indicators (KRIs) and other process management metrics.

  • The incorporation of Business Continuity Management as an integral part of the Operational Risk Management.

  • The implementation of the Model Internal Validation Methodology in the Bank.

Management results

At BICSA, the operational risk management is supported by the identification of risks or threats, which are identified through self-assessments, and the events and incidents monitoring. As of December 31, 2020, the following can be observed:

Threat distribution detected by type of risk:

Events and incidents distribution by type of risk:




Operational risk capital requirements

Banco Internacional de Costa Rica, S.A. calculates the Operational risk capital requirements in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VI of Rule N° 11-2018 of the Superintendency of Banks of Panama. The minimum operational risk capital requirements are determined by multiplying the operational risk-weighted assets established above by the capital coefficient for the due date.

Results as of December 31, 2020:


Operational risk-weighted assets

Operational risk capital requirements

BICSA Panamá



BICSA and subsidiaries



        (In millions of dollars)



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