Mexico’s Senate aims to pass bills cutting bank fees by end-October: MORENA

airport-bank-board-534216

10/15/19 – Reuters

By Diego Oré

Mexico’s Senate aims to pass a first raft of bills to regulate fees for financial services by the end of October, said Ricardo Monreal, Senate leader of the ruling National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) party.

Last November, shortly before President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador took office, MORENA lawmakers presented a bill to limit bank fees, sparking an investor backlash that pummeled the peso MXN=, Mexico’s S&P/BMV IPC stock index and banking shares.

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In Mexico, 85 fintechs are seeking permission to operate

black and white business chart computer
Photo by Lorenzo on Pexels.com

09/27/19 – Reuters

By Stefanie Eschenbacher

Mexican banking regulator CNBV said on Thursday it received applications from 85 companies to formally operate in the country under its new fin-tech law as the government of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pushes for more financial inclusion.

The government has been looking to both banks and fin-techs as it aims to reduce cash in circulation to cut down on money laundering and corruption, and to draw more people into the formal economy.

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UPDATE 1-Mexican banks warned to be on alert for cyber attacks

07/06/18 Reuters

The Bank of Mexico logo is seen on the facade of an office building in downtown Mexico City

Mexico’s financial authorities on Friday warned local banks to be on alert for potential cyber attacks and to strengthen security systems, activating protocols established in the wake of recent bank hacks.

Mexico’s central bank, Finance Ministry and banking regulator said in a statement that the measure is preventative, and that the country’s financial system is functioning normally.

The statement did not detail the reason behind the alert.

Mexican authorities on Thursday had detected the threat of a potential cyber attack to occur the next day, said a financial official with knowledge of the matter who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak with the press.

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Banorte says competition watchdog approves Interacciones takeover

06/28/18 Reuters

piggy bank with coinsMexico’s competition authority has approved Grupo Financiero Banorte’s purchase of peer Grupo Financiero Interacciones, Banorte said in a statement on Thursday.

The Federal Commission for Economic Competition, or Cofece, had notified both banks that the takeover announced last October could go ahead, Banorte said. The process would be completed by July 31, 2018, the statement added.

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Mexico’s Biggest Bank Taps Nafta Negotiator as Chairman

06/18/18 Bloomberg

financeAt a time when Donald Trump is threatening to withdraw from Nafta after labeling it the worst trade deal ever, Mexico’s biggest bank is tapping one of its original negotiators to become its next chairman.

BBVA Bancomer, the local unit of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA, nominated Jaime Serra Puche to lead its board, according to a filing with the Mexican stock exchange Monday. Serra headed Mexico’s Nafta negotiations in the early 1990s as trade minister to President Carlos Salinas. If approved, he will replace Luis Robles Miaja, who is retiring in September.

Serra has been a board member at BBVA Bancomer, the nation’s biggest bank by loans, since 2007. He is also the founder and president of SAI Derecho & Economia, a legal, economic and financial consulting firm.

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Mexico cenbank says banks may still be vulnerable to cyber attacks

05/31/2018 Reuters

banco de mexicoBank of Mexico Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon on Wednesday said no further cyber attacks on banks had been seen since May 8, but that investigators would need to finish their probe to assure banks’ vulnerabilities have been addressed.

Earlier this month, the central bank said a cyber attack had sucked around 300 million Mexican pesos ($15.2 million) in fraudulent transfers from five companies.

Diaz de Leon said there had been around 800 suspect transactions in amounts from 30,000 pesos to more than 500,000 pesos.

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Mexican Vendors Bypass Banks With Mobile Applications

03/12/15 Bloomberg 

shutterstock_77317735In Mexico City, known for its sprawling street markets, consumers are shunning cash and opting for credit cards they swipe on merchants’ smartphones to pay for everything from shoes to tacos. “People will always ask, ‘do you take cards?’, and if you do, they’ll go ‘I want this, I want that,’” said Jorge Preciado, who promotes and recruits vendors to sell their wares in markets across Mexico, such as Bazar Condesa. “Cash will always circulate, but paying with a card is going to become the norm,” he said in a phone interview. About 29 million people, or more than half of Mexico’s workforce, operate in a gray economy that’s neither taxed or regulated.

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Banxico reports increase in international reserves

El Universal, 06/03/14

increase bar chartThe international reserves of the Mexican government have reached a historical level, for the sixth week in a row and sixteenth time in the year, reaching 188.2 billion dollars by May 30, according to the Bank of Mexico (Banxico).

According to Banxico, from May 26 to 30 the intenational reserves had an increase of 990 million dollars, and an accumulative growth of 11.7 billion dollars since the end of 2013, when the balance being of 176.5 million dollars.

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Mexico’s red hot real estate market

construction cranesFinancial Times, 5/28/2013

Mexico’s economy may be recording slower growth, but not the country’s real estate market. Planigrupo Management, a Mexican investment fund that specialises in commercial real estate, splashed out to acquire $255m for nine shopping malls in the country last week. The transaction comes six months after it had also acquired another shopping centre in November in the northern city of Monterrey for $31m and is the latest in a wave of deals to hit the sector.

Much of the excitement surrounding Mexico’s real estate industry comes on the back of President Enrique Peña Nieto, who has vowed to push through a series of sweeping structural economic reforms through Congress. While Peña Nieto has so far succeeded in passing key reforms in the telecoms and education sectors, the two most important ones – on energy and taxes – will also face the most opposition. But that hasn’t stopped investors from betting that these reforms – which could help boost Mexico’s growth rate to 6 per cent – will eventually be passed and fuel demand for office space, hotels and shopping malls.

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Is easy credit coming to Mexico?

man paying with credit cardThe Christian Science Monitor, 5/9/2013

Miguel Ángel Riva Palacio stuffs his savings in his sock drawer. He pays his bills and expenses with cash, doesn’t have a bank account, and never uses debit or credit cards – neither of which are accepted at the mom-and-pop dry cleaning shop he’s worked at for the past 43 years. “It’s something that has never interested me,” he says of opening a bank account. Mr. Riva Palacio is among the millions of Mexicans operating outside of a banking system that has produced robust profits in recent years, but has failed to embrace customers among the unbanked or extend credit to entrepreneurs. Mexico has one of the lowest rates of commercial lending in Latin America, which has been blamed for stunting economic growth.

But a series of banking reforms introduced Wednesday by a coalition of political parties aims to change that. The legislation aims to encourage competition among banks and increase the accessibility and accountability of financial institutions. It also intends to create incentives for lending to both individuals and the private sector.

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