Bank Employee Day in Guatemala Date in the current year: July 1, 2024

Bank Employee Day in Guatemala Bank Employee Day (Día del Empleado Bancario) is observed in Guatemala annually on July 1. It was created to celebrate the contribution of all people working in the country’s banking sector.

The history of Guatemala’s banking system can be traced back to the 1871, when the first official bank in the country, the National Bank of Guatemala, was created to manage the assets of the Catholic Church and other religious organizations. Following the “liberal revolution”, which resulted in General Justo Rufino Barrios becoming the president of Guatemala, these assets were expropriated.

In 1874, Barrios officially reestablished National Bank of Guatemala and granted it an unlimited state guarantee, but it went into liquidation 32 months later. Ten months later, a number of private banks were authorized to issue banknotes by the government, although there was no legislation governing the banking system of Guatemala.

The formation of the modern banking system in Guatemala began during the presidency of José María Orellana, who ruled the country from 1921 to 1926. To save Guatemala from the financial crisis triggered by his predecessor’s control over banks, Orellana initiated a bank reform that was carried out between 1923 and 1926. He replaced the Guatemalan peso with the quetzal and established the Central Bank of Guatemala in 1926. Unfortunately, the stabilization of the financial system was short-lived because the country was soon hit by the Great Depression.

The second financial reform in Guatemala was carried after the 1944 October Revolution that resulted in the ousting of Jorge Ubico and the first democratic presidential election in Guatemala, which was won by Juan José Arévalo. Arévalo established the Bank of Guatemala in 1945 and initiated the adoption of several laws governing the financial system. The third and, as of 2023, final financial reform in Guatemala was carried out between 1993 and 2002.

The Bank of Guatemala has remained the country’s central bank since its establishment in 1945. Its main functions include issuing the national currency, maintaining the adequate level of liquidity in the banking system, ensuring the proper functioning of the payment system, loaning money to the government, other banks and private corporations, stabilizing the exchange rate, keeping inflation within an optimal range for a healthy economy, and more.

As of 2018, the banking system of Guatemala comprised 17 commercial banks, with six banks controlling almost 90% of total assets. In addition, it included 28 insurance companies, 14 bonded warehouses, 13 non-bank financial institutions specializing in investment operations, six credit card issuers, four offshore banks affiliated with domestic financial groups, and three licensed currency exchange houses.

Guatemala’s Bank Employee Day was created to highlight the role and contribution of all bank employees, from cashiers to the president of the central bank. On the occasion of the holiday, all banks in Guatemala are closed and their employees are given a day off. When the holiday falls on a weekend, the next business day is designated as a day off for bank employees.

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