Banco de Ponce was the Puerto Rican bank with the largest number of branches in the United States and second largest bank in deposits and number of branches in Puerto Rico during the twentieth century. Founded in Ponce, Puerto Rico, in the early part of the century, it headquartered in San Juan in 1970 and merged with Banco Popular in 1990 forming BancPonce Corporation.HistoryThe bank was founded on August 20, 1917, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, by Mario Mercado, Amador Torres, Manuel Meiriño, Augusto Quiñones, Francisco Oliver, Antonio Morales, Juan Colón, José de Jesús, Francisco Forteza and Cándido Noriega. It had a prosperous start and in 1924 it built its main office in downtown Ponce. Architecturally, the downtown structure was so prominent that it would eventually get listed as historic in the National Register of Historic Places.The Bank continued its growth and by 1961 it already had offices and branches in New York City. By 1989, it had the largest number of branches of any Puerto Rican bank in mainland United States and was the largest Hispanic bank in the United States by deposits.In 1990, Banco de Ponce merged with Banco Popular creating Puerto Rico's largest bank. Upon the merge, Banco Popular's holding company changed its name to BanPonce Corporation. At the time of the merger, Banco de Ponce had nine branches in New York to Popular's six. With this merge the new company became one of the top ten commercial banks in Latin America and one of the top fifty banks in the United States of America.