April 1, 2001
The formerly placid, back-office world of Latin American custody services is fast becoming a competitive battleground. More institutions are looking to carve themselves a slice of the business, while the development of local pension funds means that there is a bigger prize to fight over.
The cracks that began to appear recently in the custody market's duopoly -long held by Citibank and BankBoston (now part of FleetBoston Financial) - are widening. Spain's Banco Santander has pried open a number of markets and is winning more of the international business that comes from the global custodians. Increasingly, global custodians see Santander as a third force at the regional level alongside
Citibank and FleetBoston remain the dominant custody players in Latin America. But comers such as Banco Santander mean more choices and better prices for companies seeking services.