The filing of the labor reform and the key points of the pensionthat are already known and that continue to be polished, are the main focuses of the economic debate in recent days, which have businessmen and analysts calculating the expected impacts.
These key themes and the recent reduction in credit card interest rates for some segments and a ceiling of 14.15% in loans for the purchase of social housing, were part of the talk that Portafolio held with Juan Carlos Mora, president of Bancolombia, Shareholders approved Friday to distribute dividends of $3.4 billion.
(See: Subsidy for the elderly will no longer be $500,000, according to the reform).
What are they looking for with the indicator of financial well-being?
It allows us to determine what our performance is and give each person information on how they should manage their finances. There we have indicators of how much you save, how much you spend, whether or not you have insurance, and how you are managing your finances.
The issue of reducing interest rates for the segments that need more support is linked to that vision of financial well-being and this is not about promoting consumption. It’s about how we give people tools to better manage their finances. I don’t think there will be an outrageous increase in consumption.
(See: Pension reform: more discounts for workers and the richest).
Was there an agreement with the government for that?
More than an agreement, because there has not been an agreement, it is a shared vision that there are groups of the population that require support conditions and that their situation and financial well-being must be our focus and vision. It was something very focused because we looked for those groups that we believe are more vulnerable in the face of a more challenging economic situation, who may have more tools to manage their financial well-being.
Do you think that the mortgage market can fall due to adjustments to subsidies?
This is a very important market and we also identified it and set a ceiling rate of 14.15% for VIS, when rates are above 20%, because we understand that there is a more fragile population group. But beyond credit, the housing market currently has some uncertainties about what will happen with the subsidies. A series of elements are combined that I hope will become clearer. The new subsidies understanding that they enter from April. We are in a transition and that generates some uncertainties that are coming out of the housing market, which we hope will normalize in some way.
(See: What does it mean that Colpensiones could invest in TES?).
With the change in the application for subsidies in the Development Plan, starting with Sisbén, will the applicants not be subject to credit?
We are probably going to meet informal people, with uncertified income. But that information is precisely provided by our financial well-being indicator model and our approximation to that mass of clients that we have in the bank, which is already more than 22 million people. This allows us to get to know them and get closer, no longer in a traditional way, but in a different way.
With the pillars in pension reform and a cap of three minimum wages to contribute to Colpensiones, what risks are there for the capital market?
You don’t often see this aspect, which has to be an integral part of the reform. The capital market is the blood that generates a dynamic in which projects are funded, especially long-term ones, and pension funds are the main players in that market. Understanding the role of pension funds in the capital market, as actors that generate dynamism in the economy, is fundamental and the reform must be incorporated into this vision, in the definition of the pillars. And in that amount of how much is in a pillar, the consideration of the capital market must be there.
The financing of long-term projects, infrastructure, bond issues and the same financial institutions go to the capital market to raise money to be able to lend it in the long term. It is not a minor consideration to affect the Colombian capital market, which already has significant deficiencies, because unfortunately it is getting smaller. A country cannot develop if it does not have a strong capital market. If we want to advance in development, we have to have a strengthened capital market and that is a fundamental aspect of the reform.
(See: This is what the pension reform of the Petro government offers).
If it were reduced, would the cost of credit be affected?
I think so, especially the cost and availability of long-term resources, which is one of the things that is most important, because knowing very well are the actors that are going to be in the capital market willing to invest at long term. If there are not enough long-term resources, projects that require a long term cannot be financed.
That is the big problem, especially in infrastructure, which are normally 20-year financing, or bonds from companies that need to finance their own expansion projects and go to the market and issue 10 or 15-year bonds, if there are no buyers for them. How are these bonds going to be financed?
(See: With more than 1,000 weeks of contributions, the pension reform would not affect you).