FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS ANNUAL REPORT

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1 Annual Report / Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires SA 106º Fiscal Year January / December 2010

2 Company not adhered to the Optional Statutory System for the Mandatory Acquisition of Shares in a Public Offering FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN BOARD OF DIRECTORS EXECUTIVE OFFICERS ANNUAL REPORT THE ARGENTINE ECONOMY AND THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM REVIEW OF OPERATIONS ASPECTS RELATED TO CORPORATE ORGANIZATION, DECISION MAKING, INTERNAL CONTROL, AND COMPENSATION POLICY FOR DIRECTORS AND OFFICERS MANAGEMENT S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS REPORT OF THE CODE OF GOOD PRACTICES IN CORPORATE GOVERNANCE ANNUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS NOTICE OF SHAREHOLDERS MEETING ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

3 FOUNDED IN 1905, BANCO GALICIA IS ONE OF THE LARGEST PRIVATESECTOR BANKS IN THE ARGENTINE FINANCIAL SYSTEM, AND ONE OF THE LEADING PROVIDERS OF FINANCIAL SERVICES IN THE COUNTRY. IN ITS CAPACITY AS A UNIVERSAL BANK, AND THROUGH AFFILIATED COMPANIES AND VARIOUS DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS, BANCO GALICIA OFFERS A FULL SPECTRUM OF FINANCIAL SERVICES TO MORE THAN 5.9 MILLION CUSTOMERS, BOTH INDIVIDUALS AND CORPORATIONS. BANCO GALICIA OPERATES ONE OF THE MOST EXTENSIVE AND DIVERSIFIED DISTRIBUTION NETWORKS AMONG PRIVATE SECTOR BANKS IN ARGENTINA, OFFERING MORE THAN 380 POINTS OF CONTACT WITH CUSTOMERS, INCLUDING TRADITIONAL BRANCHES AND ELECTRONIC BANKING FACILITIES, TOGETHER WITH OTHER 319 SERVICE CENTERS THAT CORRESPOND TO REGIONAL CREDITCARD COMPANIES AND 95 THAT BELONG TO CFA. BANCO GALICIA CUSTOMERS ALSO HAVE ACCESS TO TELEPHONEBANKING SERVICES AND TO BANCOGALICIA.COM AND GALICIA MÓVIL, THE FIRST FINANCIAL INTERNET PORTAL AND THE FIRST PAYMENT SERVICE THROUGH CELLULAR TELEPHONE, RESPECTIVELY, ESTABLISHED BY A BANK IN ARGENTINA. BANCO GALICIA S MAJOR SHAREHOLDER IS GRUPO FINANCIERO GALICIA S.A., A FINANCIAL SERVICES HOLDING COMPANY. Memoria y Balance 2009 Galicia 001

4 CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS (*) DECEMBER 31 In millions of Pesos, except otherwise noted FOR THE FISCAL YEAR N e t I n c o m e A d j usted N e t I n c o me ( 1 ) A v e r a g e S h a r e s O utstanding ( in m illions) ( 2) E a r nings p e r S h a r e ( 2 ) ( 3 ) AT YEAREND A s s e t s L o a n s, N e t D e p o s i t s (4) S h a reholders E q uity S h a res O u t s t a nding ( i n m i l l i o n s ) ( 2 ) B o o k V a l u e per S hare ( 2 ) 3 5, , , , , , , , , , , , SELECTED RATIOS ( % ) R e t urn o n A v e r a g e Shareholders Equity ( 3 ) R e t urn o n A v e r a g e Assets (3) F i n a n c i a l M a r g i n ( 4 ) S h a reholders E q u ity to Total Assets MARKET SHARE ( 5 ) ( % ) D e p o s i t s f r o m t h e private sector L o a ns t o t h e p r ivate sector EXCHANGE RATE ( P e s o s p e r U. S. D o l l a r ) (*) Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A., Banco Galicia Uruguay S.A.(in liquidation), Tarjetas Regionales S.A. and its subsidiaries, Galicia Valores S.A. Sociedad de Bolsa, Galicia Administradora de Fondos S.A., Compañía Financiera Argentina S.A., Cobranzas y Servicios S.A. y Procesadora Regional S.A. Until fiscal year 2008, Banco Galicia Uruguay S.A. s financial statements included the balances of Banco Galicia Uruguay S.A. consolidated on a linebyline basis with those of Galicia (Cayman) Limited (Galicia Cayman), in which Banco Galicia Uruguay S.A. held a % interest and Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A. held the remaining %. Since May 2009, Banco Galicia holds a 100% interest in Galicia Cayman. Until fiscal year 2008, Galicia Cayman s financial statements had been consolidated with those of Galicia Pension Fund Limited, in which Galicia Cayman holds a 100% interest. This company was liquidated in September Until fiscal year 2009, these statements included the balances consolidated on a linebyline basis with Galicia Factoring y Leasing S.A., which was liquidated in November, Balances of Compañía Financiera Argentina S.A., Cobranzas y Servicios S.A. and Procesadora Regional S.A. had been consolidated on a linebyline basis since June (1) Adjusted net income = net income before the result from the valuation of publicsector assets in accordance with Communiqué A 3911 of the Argentine Central Bank and complementary rules, and the losses related to the amortization of amparo claims. In 2008, the result from the valuation of publicsector assets was a Ps.9.2 million profit, and the loss from the amortization of amparo claims amounted to Ps.39.5 million. In 2009, the result from the valuation of publicsector assets was a Ps.4.1 million profit, and the loss from the amortization of amparo claims amounted to Ps million. In 2010, the loss from the amortization of amparo claims amounted to Ps million. (2) Banco Galicia has a simple capital structure and, therefore, does not present fully diluted earnings per share. (3) Calculated based on net income. (4) Financial income less financial expenses, divided by average interestearning assets. (5) The market share corresponds to deposits and loans in the Argentine market and is calculated based on daily information on deposits and loans prepared by the Argentine Central Bank using endofmonth balances. 2 Galicia Annual Report 2010

5 Annual Report 2010 Galicia 003

6 LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN To our Shareholders, I am pleased to address you in order to submit the Annual Report related to the 106th Fiscal Year of Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A. as of December 31, During 2010, the recovery of the world s economy that had started towards the end of 2009 was consolidated. Furthermore, emerging economies, as well as those of the United States of America and Europe, grew, in spite of certain fears during midyear with regard to the strength of the US recovery and the financial soundness of some European countries, all of which created uncertainty and had an impact on international financial markets. Year 2010 was characterized by low interest rates and abundant liquidity, what made emerging economies receive a significant portion of international cash flows in search for higher yields. This international scenario, together with the higher prices of Argentina s most important goods for export and the significant recovery of the agricultural sector s production after the drought that took place in 2008/2009, led to the very good performance of the level of domestic activity, with a GDP growth higher than 8% when compared to Within this environment, Banco de Galicia s performance was extraordinary, since its financial structure improved significantly, its volume of intermediation with the private sector increased, the exposure to the public sector and its dollardenominated debt were reduced, the asset quality of the loan portfolio improved and all amparo claims were amortized. The success achieved is due to the efforts of the organization as a whole and I consider the implementation of the new organizational structure in mid2009, aimed at improving the effectiveness of the decisionmaking process, has been very important. A significant achievement was the completion of the purchase of Compañía Financiera Argentina S.A.: By the end of June 2010, the Argentine Central Bank authorized Banco Galicia to purchase the most important financial company in Argentina, owned by American International Group Inc. (AIG). This transaction provides, among other things, assets for more than Ps.1,700 million, 59 branches and the Efectivo Sí trademark. During the year, the Bank achieved, on a consolidated basis, a 49.5% increase in its exposure to the private sector and a 30.4% increase in deposits. These figures are higher than those of the financial system as a whole, what allowed the Bank to grow up to reaching a market share of 8.95% in loans to the private sector and of 8.33% in deposits of the private sector. 4 Galicia Annual Report 2010

7 At fiscal yearend, Banco Galicia s consolidated customer base was made up of almost 6 million individuals and companies, the Bank s deposits raised in Argentina amounted to Ps.22,200 million, and the Bank s loans to the private sector reached Ps.25,900 million. Nonfinancial publicsector assets decreased by more than Ps.2,400 million during the year, a 10 p.p. drop regarding total assets. In addition, during 2010 the Bank completely amortized negotiable obligations due in January 2010, and fully repaid in advance those due in Likewise, on February 22, 2011, the Bank paid in advance US$90.1 million corresponding to capitalized interests of subordinated negotiable obligations due in Therefore, as of the date the face value of the Bank s dollardenominated subordinated debt issued in 2004 amounts to US$218.2 million, being considered as capital for regulatory purposes. Banco Galicia recorded a Ps million net income for fiscal year 2010, figure much higher than the Ps million recorded for Excluding the amortization of amparo claims, income for the fiscal year increased from Ps million to Ps million. Net operating income grew 39.2%, and lower provisions for loan losses were recorded even after the inclusion of CFA, while administrative expenses increased within an inflationary environment and due to the expansion of the Bank s regional creditcard companies and the inclusion of CFA. As a consequence of the abovementioned improvement in net income, the Board of Directors proposes to pay dividends for Ps million, something that has not taken place since Although there are still challenges to face, we are optimistic with regard to Argentina's economic outlook, and I am sure Banco Galicia is in a very favorable position to continue collaborating with the development of the financial system and the growth of Argentina. Antonio R. Garcés Chairman of the Board of Directors Annual Report 2010 Galicia 5

8 BOARD OF DIRECTORS SUPERVISORY SYNDICS COMMITTEE EXECUTIVE OFFICERS ANTONIO R. GARCÉS CHAIRMAN SERGIO GRINENCO VICE CHAIRMAN GUILLERMO J. PANDO SECRETARY DIRECTOR LUIS M. RIBAYA PABLO GUTIERREZ PABLO M. GARAT IGNACIO A. GONZALEZ DIRECTORS RAÚL H. SEOANE ENRIQUE GARCÍA PINTO JUAN C. FOSSATTI OSVALDO H. CANOVA JULIO P. NAVEYRA ALTERNATE DIRECTORS ENRIQUE M. GARDA OLACIREGUI NORBERTO D. CORIZZO LUIS A. DIAZ SYNDICS FERNANDO NOETINGER MIGUEL N. ARMANDO RICARDO A. BERTOGLIO ALTERNATE SYNDICS C H I E F E X E C U T I V E O F F I C E R DANIEL LLAMBÍAS R E T A I L B A N K I N G JUAN SARQUIS P R I V A T E B A N K I N G SEBASTIÁN GUTIERREZ S E G M E N T S GERMÁN GHISONI P R O D U C T S ALBERTO CHIARELLI B R A N C H N E T W O R K FLAVIO DOGLIOLO A L T E R N A T I V E C H A N N E L S ANA FERRERO P U B L I C I T Y, P R O M O T I O N A N D I M A G E ALBERTO CHIARELLI O P E R A T I N G S U P E R V I S I O N O F B R A N C H E S A N D P L A N N I N G JORGE PASTORE W H O L E S A L E B A N K I N G GASTÓN BOURDIEU C O R P O R A T E MARCELO IRAOLA S M A L L A N D M E D I U M S I Z E D C O M P A N I E S HUGO ROMERO A G R I C U L T U R A L S E C T O R MARCELO MC GRECH P U B L I C S E C T O R DIEGO PASTORINI W H O L E S A L E P R O D U C T S A N D M A R K E T I N G RICARDO FERNÁNDEZ C A P I T A L M A R K E T S A N D I N V E S T M E N T B A N K I N G MARTÍN TRUPPEL W H O L E S A L E B U S I N E S S A N A L Y S I S A N D P L A N N I N G LUCIANO MORAD R E G I O N A L C R E D I T C A R D C O M P A N I E S ( C O N S U M P T I O N ) SEBASTIÁN PUJATO F I N A N C I A L DIEGO RIVAS 6 Galicia Annual Report 2010

9 F I N A N C I A L PABLO LEÓN C ASTRO M A N A G E M E N T O F A S S E T S A N D L I A B I L I T I E S MARÍA A. S A N Z T R E A S U R Y PABLO L E Ó N C A S T RO B A N K I N G R E L A T I O N S CARLOS L Ó P E Z I N F O R M A T I O N S U P P O R T A N D M A N A G E M E N T CARLOS R I A L R I S K M A N A G E M E N T JUAN L'AFFLITTO C R E D I T R I S K A N D I N S U R A N C E CARLOS E R T O L A F I N A N C I A L R I S K CLAUDIA E S T E C H O O P E R A T I O N A L R I S K JORGE P E R E Z F L E M ING R I S K I N F O R M A T I O N A N D A N A L Y S I S CARLOS D I E T A D E V E L O P M E N T A N D A N D A D M I N I S T R A T I O N O F M O D E L S ARNALDO E T C H E B A R N E C R E D I T MARCELO PONCINI C R E D I T A N A L Y S I S DANIEL S E T A C O R P O R A T E C R E D I T MARÍA E. B L A S C O C O R P O R A T E C R E D I T GRACIELA C A S S U LLO P R E V E N T I V E M A N A G E M E N T A N D A N A L Y S I S MARÍA E. C A R L I N I C U S T O M E R R E C O V E R Y HÉCTOR M A S S A P O R T F O L I O R E C O V E R Y ERNESTO C A M P O A R E A I N F O R M A T I O N A N D M A N A G E M E N T SILVIA P O R T I L L O P O L I C I E S A N D S T R A T E G I E S EMILIO P E R A L S P E C I A L P R O J E C T S SILVIA I G A R T E B U R U C O M P R E H E N S I V E C O R P O R A T E S E R V I C E S M I G U E L PEÑA O P E R A T I O N S H É C T O R D ' ALESSANDRO I N F O R M A T I O N T E C H N O L O G Y E D U A R D O AGRA O R G A N I Z A T I O N A D R I A N A PRILLO E N G I N E E R I N G A N D M A I N T E N A N C E R I C A R D O ROY S E C U R I T Y H É C T O R G OMEZ P U R C H A S E S A N D C O N T R A C T S J O R G E C A SAFUS I N F O R M A T I O N S E C U R I T Y D I E G O E S T EVE M A N A G E M E N T C O N T R O L J U A N P. C AVAGNA O R G A N I Z A T I O N A L D E V E L O P M E N T A N D H U M A N R E S O U R C E S R A F A E L BERGÉS H U M A N R E S O U R C E S H É C T O R J ORGE I N T E R N A L C O M M U N I C A T I O N S A N D C H A N G E M A N A G E M E N T R O D O L F O ZIMMERMANN M A N A G E M E N T D E V E L O P M E N T V A L E R I A V ENEGAS C O M P E N S A T I O N S A N A P A R I MBELLI Q U A L I T Y A S S U R A N C E M A N U E L A ARAUJO C O R P O R A T E S O C I A L R E S P O N S I B I L I T Y C O N S T A N Z A GORLERI P L A N N I N G A N D F I N A N C I A L C O N T R O L RAÚL H. SEOANE A C C O U N T I N G DIANA MIGUEZ P L A N N I N G A N D M A N A G E M E N T C O N T R O L BRUNO FOLINO I N V E S T O R R E L A T I O N S PABLO FIRVIDA T A X A D V I S O R Y PABLO RODRÍGUEZ F I D U C I A R Y A D M I N I S T R A T I O N A N D S U P P L E M E N T A R Y B U S I N E S S E S EDUARDO FOSSATI L E G A L A D V I S O R Y S E R V I C E S MARÍA ELENA CASASNOVAS R E S E A R C H NICOLÁS DUJOVNE I N T E R N A L A U D I T OMAR SEVERINI I N S T I T U T I O N A L A F F A I R S A N D P R E S S DIEGO VIDELA A N T I M O N E Y L A U N D E R I N G U N I T CLAUDIA ESTECHO Annual Report 2010 Galicia 7

10 ANNUAL REPORT The Board of Directors submits to the Shareholders for their consideration the Annual Report, the Financial Statements and the Supervisory Syndics Committee Report for the 106th fiscal year of Banco de Galicia y Buenos Aires S.A., ended December 31, Galicia Annual Report 2010

11 THE ARGENTINE ECONOMY AND THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM Annual Report 2010 Galicia 9

12 The Economy During 2010, the recovery of the world s economy that started towards the end of 2009 was consolidated. Even though emerging economies were again the ones that experienced the highest growth during such period, both the United States of America and Europe grew in comparison to the previous year. However, year 2010 was not free from fears of a downturn in advanced economies. In particular, towards midyear doubts arouse in the United States of America with regard to the strength of its recovery, what led the Federal Reserve to maintain its highly expansionary monetary policy. With regard to Europe, even though the performance of the real economy started improving gradually, doubts regarding the financial strength of some countries caused uncertainty and had an impact on international financial markets. With the purpose of easing worries and defending the common currency, the European Central Bank had to act through the purchase of sovereign debt from countries that had problems and through the provision of aid packages together with the International Monetary Fund. The loose monetary policy of advanced economies led to an environment characterized by low interest rates and abundant liquidity, what benefited emerging economies since they received a significant portion of international cash flows in search for higher yields. Within this favorable international environment, together with the upward trend in the price of Argentina s most important goods for export, the Argentine economy managed to strengthen the reactivation that had started in the second half of The external factors were in addition to the significant recovery of agricultural production after the drought that took place in 2008/2009, what contributed significantly to the level of domestic activity. In turn, 010 Galicia Annual Report 2010

13 financial assets were benefited by the positive international environment and the relatively low domestic volatility, thus strengthening the reduction in spreads already observed in This way, the economy grew more than 8% when compared to Particularly, pursuant to the General Activity Index prepared by Orlando Ferreres consulting firm, the economy grew 8.2% in During the first half of 2010, the economy was highly dynamic, growing at a seasonallyadjusted quarterly average of 3.2%, which during the second quarter was fueled by the contribution of the agriculture and livestock sector. Towards the second half of 2010, a slight decrease in the growth pace was observed, with the economy growing at a quarterly average of 0.9% (seasonally adjusted). As regards supply, the agriculture and livestock sector showed the best performance, with a 19.7% annual increase, followed by the manufacturing sector (+10.5%) and trade (+9.4%). In the particular case of the agriculture and livestock sector, production experienced a significant recovery after the drought that had taken place in 2009, with a 55% increase when compared to the previous fiscal year. In turn, the industry sector was benefited thanks to the higher demand due to the global reactivation, and particularly that of Brazil, the most important purchaser in some sectors such as the automotive sector. On the contrary, some servicerelated sectors experienced a limited increase, as for instance health services (+2.2%), public administration (+3.2%) and electricity, gas and water supply (+3.4%). It is worth noting that such sectors had been affected the least by the 2008/2009 crisis. The industrial sector, as per the Industrial Production Index prepared by FIEL, experienced an 8.8% accumulated annual growth in Among the sectors that showed the best performance, the automotive sector stands out, with a 43.1% accumulated increase during the same period, followed by the iron and steel industry, with a 23.1% increase. Again, these sectors experienced the highest fall during the crisis that had taken place the previous year. The unemployment rate decreased from 8.4% of the economically active population for the fourth quarter of 2009 to 7.3% for the same quarter of 2010, thus reflecting the positive impact reactivation had on the level of activity with regard to the labor market. In the monetary sphere, the main monetary aggregates increased significantly during 2010, in line with the solid performance of the economy and the upward trend in prices. By fiscal yearend, the monetary base recorded a 31.6% annual expansion, when compared to a 15.7% annual growth at the beginning of the year. The Ps.38,100 million expansion experienced during the year is attributable to the growth achieved thanks to the intervention in the foreign exchange market for Ps.46,300 million, mainly offset by the Ps.8,200 million reduction of domestic credit. This stems from the sterilization carried out through repurchase agreement transactions for Ps.6,500 million, but mainly through the net placement of Lebac and Nobac (Argentine Central Bank bills and notes) for Ps.20,300 million. On the contrary, and due to transactions carried out with the government, the monetary base increased by Ps.19,500 million, mainly due to the transfers of the Argentine Central Bank's profits to the Treasury, corresponding to fiscal year This trend was as well reflected in the performance of the privatesector M2 (money in circulation and deposits in savings and current account that belong to the private sector), which grew 33.1% when compared to 2009, more than 3 percentage points ( p.p ) above the goal set in the monetary program. This goal was updated during the second semester. In turn, total M2 grew 28.1% during Interest rates remained relatively stable during the year, although during the last months they showed a slight upward trend. Such behavior can be explained by the strong growth of credit, even higher than the pace shown by deposits during 2010, and the subsequent decrease in the financial system s liquidity levels. The reference exchange rate established by the Argentine Central Bank increased from Ps to Ps per U.S. Dollar between December 31, 2009 and December 31, 2010 (equivalent to a 4.7% depreciation); while the average exchange rate increased from Ps per U.S. Dollar in 2009 to Ps per U.S. Dollar in Inflation for 2010 amounted to 10.9%, as measured by the Consumer Price Index ( CPI ) of the Argentine Institute of Statistics and Census ( INDEC ), higher than the 7.7% recorded in the previous year. In turn, the Wholesale Domestic Price Index ( WPI, or IPIM by its initials in Spanish) recorded a 14.6% increase. Pursuant to private estimates, consumer prices grew 22.9% in The increase in inflation observed during 2010 is mainly explained by the behavior of prices in the food and beverages sector, which recorded an annual increase 10 p.p. above the general price level. Furthermore, within this sector the most significant growth was that of beef, contributing 4.5 p.p. of the 22.9 prices increase in In the fiscal area, the combination of an increase in the level of activity, the Annual Report 2010 Galicia 11

14 upward trend in prices, and the excellent performance of the external sector (mainly with regard to volumes, even though prices increased towards the end of the year), generated a 35.2% increase in tax revenues (including social security) in comparison to In turn, primary expenditures increased 33.9% in 2010, with a growth close to an annual 40% during the last quarter. This way, the Argentine public sector achieved a primary surplus of Ps.25,115 million, equivalent to 1.7% of Gross Domestic Product ( GDP ), in line with what was recorded in After interest payments for Ps.22,047 million, the financial surplus amounted to Ps.3,068 million, equivalent to 0.2% of GDP. The balance of payment on current account maintained a surplus, as a result of the still high trade surplus. However, in terms of GDP, it would have recorded a significant decrease, from 3.6% in 2009 to 0.9% in The balance of trade experienced a US$12,057 million surplus in 2010, lower than the US$16,980 million of the previous year. Exports showed a significant recovery since they increased 23% when compared to the previous fiscal year. This is mainly explained by the 18% interannually ( i.a. ) increase in exported volumes. Exports of commodities are the most outstanding, which driven by the recovery of the agricultural sector s production, they had an excellent performance, increasing 63% (mostly all regarding exported volumes). However, prices started to show a clear positive trend towards the end of the year, what makes it possible to maintain an excellent outlook for year In turn, global reactivation, and particularly that of Brazil, had a positive impact on the performance of industrial goods, which increased 28% in 2010, representing a 25% of volumes exported. In turn, imports showed a strong growth close to 46% in comparison to 2009, thanks to the strong dynamism of the economy and the high level of domestic installed capacity. Imports of intermediate goods represented 31% of total imports and grew 41% during 2010, followed by capital goods, which represented 21% of total imports and grew 40% when compared to Within this environment, the nonfinancial privatesector s capital account experienced a net foreign currency outflow of US$844 million during the first nine months of 2010, substantially below the foreign currency outflow of US$8,963 million recorded for the same period in In fact, during the third quarter of 2010 a net foreign currency inflow of US$974 million was recorded, and estimates indicate the fourth quarter would be in line with the previous quarter. This way, the year as a whole would end with the capital account in a practically neutral position, after a year 2009 with a capital outflow higher than US$8,000 million. As of December 31, 2010, the Argentine Central Bank s international reserves amounted to US$52,190 million, US$4,222 million higher than those at the end of THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM The situation described above with regard to the Argentine economy had a favorable impact on the financial system, what resulted in an increase in the levels of intermediation with the private sector, even though these are far from the levels recorded in the years before the crisis that took place in 2001 and those achieved by close countries such as Chile and Brazil. In this regard, the financial system s total deposits increased 38.7% during the year, reaching Ps.373,862 million; deposits from the nonfinancial private sector increased 29.7%, amounting to Ps.256,028 million; while deposits from the public sector reached Ps.115,841 million (+67.9%). Within deposits from the private sector, transactional deposits grew 34.3%, reaching Ps.138,036 million at the end of the year, while time deposits increased 25.4%, reaching Ps.107,401 million. Total loans to the private sector grew 37.8% when compared to the end of 2009, reaching Ps.197,279 million. Loans that increased the most were shortterm commercial loans, made up of cash advances in current account and promissory notes, which grew 45.8%, amounting to Ps.61,780 million. As regards consumer loans, made up of loans through credit cards and personal loans, they grew 37.2% during the year, reaching Ps.68,894 million. Loans secured by a pledge increased 34.5%, with a final balance of Ps.9,841 million, while mortgage loans increased 13.3%, amounting to Ps.21,093 million. In turn, loans to the public sector accounted for 12.2% of total assets, decreasing 2.3 p.p. during the year, a very different situation when compared to the 48.9% recorded in The average interest rate paid by private banks in December (deposits up to 59 days) was 10.29%, increasing 58 basis points ( b.p. ) i.a. Meanwhile, the average interest rate applicable to time deposits in Pesos over Ps.1 million was 11.11% (+130 b.p.). With regard to lending rates, the rate for cash advances in current account was 19.23% at the end of the year, decreasing 205 b.p. i.a. (even though for cash advances higher than Ps.10 million the rate recorded a 40 b.p. increase, reaching 11.10%); while the rate for promissory notes decreased 127 b.p., reaching 14.81% at fiscal yearend. As a prudential policy, financial institutions increased their liquidity levels regarding total deposits, also contributing to financial stability. The liquidity ratio decreased from an average 28.6% in December 2009 to 28.0% in December Galicia Annual Report 2010

15 The Argentine Central Bank placed debt securities (Lebac and Nobac) for Ps.26,598 million, thus increasing 60.5% during the year, reaching Ps.70,578 million at fiscal yearend. Notwithstanding the foregoing, privatesector means of payment (privatesector M2) exceeded in December the ceiling set forth in the monetary program by 3.2%, reaching an average balance of Ps.220,534 million, equivalent to a 33.1% growth during the year. The foreign currency purchase transactions carried out by the Argentine Central Bank in the foreign exchange market and loans to the private sector were the main reasons for the increase in the means of payment during the period. In financial standing terms, the Argentine financial system s net worth increased by Ps.9,247 million during the year, what represents a 19.1% improvement. The system s profitability in 2010 was equivalent to 2.8% of total assets, while return on shareholders' equity was 24.3%, higher than the 19.2% recorded in 2009 and the 13.4% recorded in Income from interests and from services remained in levels similar to those recorded in 2009, representing 4.3% and 3.8% of total assets, respectively. The prices of government securities led to an improvement in income from holding of such securities, representing 3.3% of total assets. In turn, administrative expenses as a percentage of total assets slightly increased from 6.7% to 6.8%, while provisions for loan losses decreased from 1.1% to 0.8% of total assets, thus reflecting an improvement in the asset quality of the loan portfolio. In line with such performance, the nonaccrual loan portfolio of the nonfinancial private sector decreased from 3.5% in December 2009 to 2.3% in November 2010 (last information available). Within the framework of prudential policies, the coverage of the privatesector Annual Report 2010 Galicia 013

16 nonaccrual loan portfolio with allowances continues to increase, reaching historically high levels such as 157.1% in December 2010, higher than the 126.2% recorded twelve months before. As of November 30, 2010, there were 80 financial institutions, considering both banking and nonbanking institutions. Out of this total, 64 were banks, 52 of which were privatesector banks (concentrating 56.8% of total deposits in the financial system). In turn, 32 were domestic banks, one of which was a cooperative bank (which represented 29.6% of total deposits, 1.0% higher when compared to the end of 2009) and 20 were foreignowned banks (which represented 27.2% of total deposits, 1.6% lower when compared to the end of 2009). Governmentowned banks were 12 (which represented 42.8% of total deposits), and nonbanking financial institutions were 16, with only a 0.4% share of total deposits. The concentration of the financial system, measured by the deposit market share of the ten leading banks, reached 76.4% as of November 30, This percentage was 0.8% higher compared to the one recorded by the end of Based on information as of September 2010 (the last information available to date), the Argentine financial system employed a total of 98,887 people (62% of which were employed by the private sector), representing a 1.5% increase since the beginning of the year. OUTLOOK The outlook for 2011 remains positive, even though a slight decrease in the growth pace observed in 2010 is expected for In case the current conditions with regard to global growth, abundant liquidity and the increasing trend in the price of commodities continue, the Argentine economy will have a favorable environment to grow. Among domestic factors, the agriculture and livestock sector would again make a significant contribution since the adverse effect of climate on production would be moderate and the exceptional prices would allow the value of production to be even higher than the previous year. Of course, both the agriculture and livestock sector and industry, main drivers of growth in 2010, would show more moderate growth rates in 2011, taking into consideration they would start with a high level to compare to. Thus, the strong growth of GDP in 2010 leaves for 2011 a growth rate base of 2.5% due to a statistical drag, and estimates indicate the economy could grow at a rate of around 5.5% in However, it should be taken into consideration that this year presidential elections will be held in Argentina, what could increase the volatility of some key indicators. As regards the risks at a domestic level, the evolution of the inflation rate stands out within a context where the output gap has almost closed completely, and fiscal and monetary policies will continue to grow. Additionally, the evolution of the international prices of commodities in general, and those of food in particular, will be a challenge with regard to price stability globally. The Argentine financial system is expected to continue strengthening its financial standing as a consequence of positive net results, within an environment of growth in financial intermediation with the private sector, gradually reaching higher levels. For this, it will be essential to overcome the difficulties that do not allow an increase in the average terms both of deposits and loans. Furthermore, income from services will continue to be significant within operating income. It can be expected that banks will focus their operations on the control of administrative expenses in order to improve operating efficiency. The asset quality of the loan portfolio is expected to evolve favorably, together with the economic activity. Furthermore, entities are supposed to continue adopting prudential measures, maintaining a high level of allowances for the nonaccrual loan portfolio. 14 Galicia Annual Report 2010

17 REVIEW OF OPERATIONS Memoria y Balance 2010 Galicia 15

18 ACQUISITION OF COMPAÑÍA FINANCIERA ARGENTINA S.A., COBRANZAS Y SERVICIOS S.A. AND PROCESADORA REGIONAL S.A. (1) On June 24, the shares of Compañía Financiera Argentina S.A., Cobranzas y Servicios S.A. and Procesadora Regional S.A. (formerly Universal Processing Center S.A., registration proceeding with the Inspección General de Justicia, the Argentine Superintendency of Companies, is being held) that carry out financial and complementary activities, were purchased to American International Group Inc. and to AIG Consumer Finance Group Inc. Banco Galicia purchased 95% of the shares, whereas Tarjetas Regionales S.A. purchased the remaining 5%. The purchase was approved by Resolution No. 124 of the Board of Directors of the Argentine Central Bank dated June 7, 2010, and by Resolution No. 299 of the National Commission for the Defense of Competition, dated August 31, The total cost of all shares amounted to Ps.334 million (including acquisitionrelated expenses). This resulted in an initial negative goodwill value of Ps.622 million, corresponding to the difference between the acquisition cost paid and the equity method value, which decreased after (1) References to CFA in this annual report correspond to the group of companies Compañía Financiera Argentina S.A., Cobranzas y Servicios S.A. and Procesadora Regional S.A. adjustments, mainly explained by allowances for loan losses on CFA assets, to be in line with Banco Galicia s establishment of allowances. Thus, the negative goodwill value amounted to Ps million, and a 60month straightline amortization method was in place as of July CFA is the leading financial company in Argentina in the personal loan business. As of June 2010, the assets of the acquired companies amounted to over Ps.1,438 million, and the shareholder s equity amounted to Ps.933 million with a headcount of 1,169 people. With 59 branches and 36 points of sale throughout the country, CFA offers its products to nearly 500,000 customers, who belong in general to the lowtomedium income segments, have limited relation with traditional banks and are willing to apply for a loan easily and fast. Main products: Efectivo Sí: Unsecured personal loans payable in installments. Cuota Sí: Product to finance purchases of goods through merchants associated with CFA, without using any cash or credit cards. Such goods include home appliances, household goods and construction materials. División Convenios (Agreements Division) Decree No. 691/00: Payroll loans to civil servants at national level. División Convenios (Agreements Division) Financial Brokerage Firms: Payroll loans to affiliate or associate member of brokerage firms (mutual benefit associations, cooperatives, unions, etc.) and to company employees. Credit Cards: Issued by Visa and MasterCard, both at domestic and international level. Pagos Jubilatorios de la ANSES (Retirement and pension payment National Social Security Administration): Aimed at retired people and pensioners collecting their payments at CFA. Microfinance: Credit lines for small ventures in specific geographic areas across the country. Insurance: CFA sells different types of insurance policies from leading companies of the market to meet customers needs. With this acquisition, Banco Galicia has strengthened even more its expansion strategy within the nonbancarized segment in Argentina, and continued developing businesses and strengthening its geographic presence across the country. WHOLESALE BANKING The Wholesale Banking Division manages Banco Galicia s business transactions with companies of all economic sectors and with the public sector, aimed at developing valueadded financial solutions and services, focused on the optimization of its business process and the contribution both to their business development and their competitive growth. Year after year, Banco Galicia strengthens its leading position in financing Argentina's productive activity, especially 16 Galicia Annual Report 2010

19 in the small and mediumsized companies (SMEs) sector and in the Agriculture and Livestock sector, including its participation in financing programs fostered by the Government. The commitment to satisfy companies financing needs becomes clear in the loan portfolio structure (not consolidated with Tarjetas Regionales S.A.), of which 57% accounts for the financing of productionrelated sectors (40% SMEs and Agriculture and Livestock sector, and 17% for large companies and corporations). One of Banco Galicia s strategic pillars of the customer service model is its ability to build up close and longlasting relationships with companies. In this sense, Banco Galicia continued supporting its business model closely related to its corporate customers, both through officers providing dedicated and focused services at branches, Head Office and Corporate Banking Centers in Argentina; and the commercial sales force specialized in different lines of business: Foreign Trade, Transactional Services, Capital Markets, Leasing and Agreements, among others. More than 4,000 visits done by the sales force to companies across all regions prove the above. At fiscal yearend, Banco Galicia had 9 Business Centers located in different strategic spots of the most important economic areas: Mar del Plata, Rosario, Mendoza, Neuquén, Córdoba, Tucumán, Corrientes, Quilmes and Pilar. It is worth mentioning that through these Centers, Banco Galicia provides tailormade solutions and assistance to SMEs and Agriculture and Livestock Companies as regards their regular course of business, foreign trade transactions and financial and nonfinancial services, regardless of the level of complexity of the region they operate in. This is highly regarded by such companies. The work done from these centers let the Bank strengthen the alliances and agreements among companies of different segments and commercial activities. As a result, Banco Galicia developed its business within the value chain of its customers, especially with agriculture and livestock companies (agriservices, agrochemicals, metalmechanics, etc.) and provide integral services to companies, reaching their employees and suppliers, through them, with a unified offer and through the different channels of Banco Galicia (distribution, credit cards and others). During the fiscal year, Ps.24,000 million were granted as loans to companies across the country, with an increase of 34% in the funds managed by the Bank. The Financing Program for SMEs amounting to Ps.1,200 million launched by the end of 2009 to provide a wide offer of short, medium and longterm loans under excellent conditions exceeded expectations, since over Ps.2,400 million were granted to more than 11,300 SMEs nationwide. The offer of Peso and U.S. Dollar denominated medium and longterm financing increased through different agreements with multilateral agencies, such as the International Finance Corporation ( IFC ) and the InterAmerican Development Bank ( IDB ), among others. Additionally, the benefits of all subsidized credit lines or lines with special conditions offered by the national and provincial public sector were offered to customers. As regards leasing, Banco Galicia continues to be the market leader in this line of business, with 12% market share. Among the wide range of products and services, stand out different options regarding collection and payment of services, commercial credit cards for each segment, direct payroll deposit, alternatives in the capital market, foreign trade solutions, and Galicia Office, the corporate electronic banking solution. During the fiscal year, ISO 9001 Certification for Cobranza Integrada Galicia (Galicia Integral Collection) was renewed, thus showing the search for excellence in the quality of products and services provided by Banco Galicia. In 2010, Galicia Convenios (Galicia Agreements) outnumbered the 100 agreements signed with suppliers of goods and services of the different economic sectors, thus enabling Wholesale and Retail Banking customers to obtain financing based on their needs and the market they operate in, contributing to the integration of the Annual Report 2010 Galicia 17

20 productive value chains. Through these agreements, over Ps.280 million were financed, and new customer relations were generated in the different segments. The implementation of new Vendor systems continued. This is for companies to finance their customers the purchase of supplies, in a quick and secure manner, optimizing their working capital and contributing to the integration of the network of suppliers, distributors and customers. Also, differential benefits were provided to customers through agreements with companies, Reciprocal Guarantee Companies and Fondo de Garantías de Buenos Aires FOGABA (Buenos Aires Guarantee Fund), with different financing tools, even with joint transactions with subsidized rates, mainly in the sector related to the sale of agricultural machinery, thus contributing to strengthen Banco Galicia's leadership in the agriculture and livestock sector and in leasing products, among others. Within the framework of the Génesis Program, the purpose of which is to strengthen our business relations with our present and potential customers, by developing the Customer Relationship Management ( CRM ) methodology, the Corporate Genesis project was worked on. In 2010, the development of the new features of GReCo Max (Business Relationship Management) was completed. This will help managers and officers to build up knowledge about the customer portfolio, thus enabling them to plan their portfolio management activities, and to follow up the plan set for their team, aiming at meeting the needs and interests of all customers. Galicia Office Galicia Office, the corporate ebanking solution, keeps on growing year after year, changing its image to more fashionable designs, with over 40,000 subscribed stores. During the fiscal year, once again, the volume of queries and transactions exceeded that recorded in Total queries reached 66 million and monetary transactions amounted to 2.7 million, representing a 29% increase, as compared to Consolidating the figures corresponding to InterBanking and Galicia Office, transactions amounted to Ps million, representing an increase of 44% during Internet development requires continuous modifications and updates to meet the needs of customers from all segments. During the year, new features were included, mainly: Payment of Services: Now it is possible to pay the services published by Red Link. This increased the number of customers using the service by 92% throughout the year. Foreign Trade: By midyear, the Customs House implemented the Seguimiento de Pagos de Importaciones Sepaimpo procedure (Imports Payment Followup Service). Galicia Office enables customers to query this record by identifying the transactions made through Banco Galicia, and to settle customs clearance, just by linking the customs clearance to the transfer. U.S. Dollar transfers within Galicia accounts is now possible, as well as to other banks accounts. These developments evidence that Banco Galicia is a pioneering bank in foreign trade transactions on the internet. Agriculture and Livestock Segment: A website was developed for Tarjeta Galicia Rural ( TGR ) users to query their purchases, settlements and authorizations within a 12 month period. Electronic Customs Clearance Billing: In line with the Federal Public Revenue Authority, customers may generate this bill straight through Galicia Office. Web Services: Application developed for companies that need to streamline their collection transactions, and which enables them to send their invoices to Banco Galicia and integrate them to their management system. MediumSized Companies Banco Galicia continues strengthening its mediumsized companies service model, thus increasing and consolidating its leadership in terms of market penetration and, particularly, in segment consideration, as companies highlight the dedicated service, the readiness and effectiveness to meet their needs and solve any inconveniences. At fiscal yearend, MediumSized Companies were granted different short, medium and longterm credit lines amounting to Ps.11,400 million, which increased by 44% the managed funds, as compared to the previous year. For this segment, over Ps.93 million were granted as credit lines from the SePyME (Undersecretary of SMEs), and the Industrial and Foreign Trade Bank ( BICE ). These credit lines were medium and longterm loans assigned to investment projects. Also, the number of people using Banco Galicia s direct payroll deposits product, with benefits and preferential conditions, increased by 20%. An aggressive Platinum Services campaign was launched for top managers, line managers and owners, with excellent results. In order to provide training and education proposals to top managers and line managers of customer and noncustomer companies, tailored to the different businesses and characteristics of each area, Banco Galicia launched the Diplomatura Profesional de PyME (SMEs Companies Professional Diploma) together with Universidad Siglo XXI, in Mendoza and Pilar, apart from the already existing Diplomatura de Comercio Exterior (Foreign Trade Diploma) and the Jornadas de Comercio Exterior (Foreign Trade Sessions), detailed in the Foreign Trade Section. Agricultural Sector Banco Galicia s leading position in the agriculture and livestock sector strengthens year after year. For the fifth 18 Galicia Annual Report 2010

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