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Banesco (BVC: BBC) is a bank based in Caracas, Venezuela. As of 2008[update] it is the country's largest bank, with a market share of 14.2%. It has 440 branches in all parts of Venezuela. The primary competitors are the Banco Mercantil (Merchant Bank), Banco Occidental de Descuento (Western Discount Bank), Banco de Venezuela (Bank of Venezuela) and the BBVA Banco Provincial (Provincial Bank); all these banks including Banesco form the upper stratum of the Bank Ranking of SUDEBAN. The financial group also includes an insurance, and consumer banking division. The bank is a member of the Banking Association of Venezuela and their mascot is Baneskín "El Pana de Ahorro" (The Savings 'Buddy'). Banesco's Caracas headquarters, Ciudad Banesco, at 65,000 m², is Latin America's largest bank headquarters.
Banesco is one of the first Venezuelan banks holding only Venezuelan capital. It was founded in 1977 as the Banco Agroindustrial Venezolano (Venezuelan Agroindustrial Bank), until it changed its name to Banco Financiero (Financial Bank) in 1987. In 1992, after changing their name to Bancentro, the bank was acquired by the Banesco Financial Organization, the banking division came to dominate the company and was combined with the other divisions to form a banco universal (universal bank) (i.e. a bank that competes in all banking sectors like commercial banking, investment banking, lending, etc.).