Settling Into a Niche

Aug 1, 2001

As the number of banks serving the Latin American market shrinks, relationships with local companies take on added importance. A surevy by Greenwich Associates of CFOs in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico finds that international and local banks each serve a role.

Consolidations among banks in Latin America are occurring more frequently than in Europe and Asia - in fact, at a pace more in line with the United States. Foreign banks have been buying aggressively into local Latin American banks and many now have Latin American subsidiaries. Studies conducted by Greenwich Associates over many years in other markets show that over time, foreign banks have a profound influence on relationship management practices by local banks operating in their own corporate or wholesale markets. It is clear that the banking industry throughout the world is dividing itself into two groups: banks offering most corporate products globally, and banks whose service is primarily domestic - though many of these offer a limited number of international products to clients who require them. Currently this segregation is even more dramatic in the major Latin American markets defined in our study as Argentina, Brazil, Chile...

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