The crop of boutiques that sprang up from the bulge bracket wreckage faces fresh competition. They will need relationships, international connections and a proper structure to survive.
The growth of boutiques in Mexico and Colombia has slowed. Pan-regional players continue to stick to their guns.
Brazil’s government-controlled lender is using a natural size advantage to pursue niches it does not already dominate. Careful international expansion is next for Banco do Brasil.
Mexican retail banks are known for making customers pay through their noses.
The past 12 months have seen capital markets activity and M&A pick up in Mexico following a crisis-inspired lull.
Leveraging deep and long-standing corporate relationships has been a successful strategy throughout the global financial crisis for Bancolombia.
Banco de Bogotá has spent the last year rolling out a variety of new products and services in Colombia as it pursues a universal bank strategy, while also making moves cross-border.
Santander Chile says its strength has come from growing selectively and increasing sales without expanding the client base too much, so that it can control risk.
Chile-based investment bank Celfín Capital has seized the boom in 2010 as an opportunity to push it into the big leagues.
Santander Río’s strength in retail contributes significantly to it being the most profitable private financial institution in Argentina, says Guillermo Glattstein, strategic planning manager at the bank.
In the April-June period, Banco de Crédito Del Peru (BCP) achieved some of its best quarterly results to date, supported by a strong reactivation of the Peruvian economy.
Mercantil Banco Universal has been expanding its loan portfolio, which has led to year-on-year growth despite a economic contraction and slow liquidity growth in Venezuela.
Banco General takes top prize for Panama for the second year in a row.
El Salvador’s Banco Agrícola, part of Colombia’s Bancolombia since 2007, is expected to end this year with results that compare favorably with those obtained at the end of 2009, says Fitch, which has an AA+ (stable) local rating on the bank.
State-controlled Banco de Costa Rica has gained market share through the financial crisis, growing the loan portfolio and expanding facilities.
Banco de Reservas has shrugged off macroeconomic weakness in the Dominican Republic caused by the global financial crisis and continues to grow.
Ecuador’s Banco Pichincha has been busy expanding within and beyond the country’s borders. At the same time, it has been able to keep its financial indicators in line with or better than that of the banking system as a whole.
With economic growth returning to Guatemala after a relatively shallow crisis, its banks can return to plans being made prior to 2008.
Jamaica’s National Commercial Bank (NCB) has passed the test of a weak local economy and a sovereign debt restructuring relatively unscathed, as profitability and liquidity remain at acceptable levels.
Puerto Rico has been suffering a recession for more than four years. Several banks have collapsed, unemployment has soared and bankruptcies have increased.
Bolivia’s small size has meant its banks suffered few effects of the credit crisis in 2008 and 2009.
Trinidad & Tobago’s (T&T) Republic Bank has been able to grow its assets despite a weak economy and reduction in its loan portfolio.
Santander has spent the last year and a half digesting its $175 million 2008 acquisition of ABN AMRO, a deal it says has made it the largest private bank in Uruguay, with over 30% of the assets.
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