April 1, 2001
In 1944, a group of armed insurgents overthrew Guatemalan President Jorge Ubico and began the country's democratic and urban revolution, which included establishing new regulations for the financial system. The trouble is, those rules are still in effect.
Guatemala has 32 banks with $4 billion in assets
serving 12 million customers. More consolidation in
the industry is likely.
"The local legal structure of our financial system is completely antiquated," says Raymond Puccini, vice president of finance at Banco del Occidente, Central America's oldest bank and one of the few dedicated t
After more than 50 years operating under antiquated banking rules, Guatemala is in the process establishing capital adequacy guidelines, regulating offshore operations and setting up bank guarantee funds.