Out of the Many, One?

Out of the Many, One?


In September 2006, HSBC bought Panama’s Banistmo, giving it access to new retail banking markets in Central America and instantly making it the biggest bank in the country. Not to be outdone, a merger between indigenous lenders Banco General and Banco Comercial crowned a new Panamanian leader. Those transactions followed Citi and Scotia’s entrances into Guatemala. Meanwhile, Guatemala’s Banco Industrial swallowed compatriots Banco Occidente and Banco Quetzal, as well as Banco del Pais in neighboring Honduras. Industrial is now looking to conquer southern Mexico.“There has been a significant movement in the last 18-24 months to increase integration among the different econ

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