In the Association of Banks of Mexico (ABM) there is no concern about the announcement of the sale of Banamex made known by Citigroup last week, since this type of operation is common within the business world, in addition to the fact that there are clear rules that must be followed, said Daniel Becker, president of the organization.
There are very clear rules and potential buyers must meet very clear requirements to be able to manage an operation like this. There is no concern,” Becker said.
In a videoconference on the occasion of the meeting of the associates’ committee, the leader of the bankers highlighted that, as both the financial authorities and directors of Citibanamex, the decision of the US group to leave Mexico with its consumer and corporate businesses is not related to local conditions, but to a redefinition of the business model.
“We are not worried because it is important to be clear that Citi has long defined that it is going to dedicate itself to the corporate market and investment banking, and they have already done so in 13 countries in Asia; They had already announced that they were going to do it all over the world and they are going to do it in Mexico,” he said.
He stressed that the purchases and sales of institutions often occur in the business world, and recalled that in 2001 precisely Banamex was sold to Citi, its current owner, and that nothing happened with the users.
Clients are safe
Becker underlined that, in this sense, the clients of Citibanamex they are safe and will not have any problem neither in the sale process, nor when it is finalized.
“It is important to highlight that none of Banamex’s clients will suffer any problem now during the process, nor once the bank is acquired by a buyer because it will obviously have to go through all the regulatory commitments,” he emphasized.
It can be Mexican or foreign capital
Given what President Andrés Manuel López Obrador expressed, that it would be preferable for Banamex to remain in the hands of Mexicans, the leader of the bankers expressed that they respect that position, but that in the ABM they are agnostic to the origin of capital.
“But we are not agnostic that the one that manages such a relevant asset is a group that has the technical and professional capabilities to manage it,” he said.
Welcome to the competition
The president of the ABM stated that, once the disincorporation of Banamex, Citi will be an additional competitor, with a license of its own, which he welcomed.
“ABM embraces and favors that there are always elements of competition. It is what improves and brings better products to Mexicans,” he said.
Regarding whether there would be any issue of market concentration if one of the big banks bought Banamex, as has been discussed up to now, the banker commented that at this moment it would be speculating, since it is a process that has begun, but that In any case, it will be an issue that must be addressed by the Federal Commission of Economic Competition (Cofece).