Citibanamex: the history of the National Bank of Mexico founded more than 135 years ago

Since 2016 Banamex changed its name to Citibanamex.  REUTERS/Henry Romero
Since 2016 Banamex changed its name to Citibanamex. REUTERS/Henry Romero

Last January 11 there was a news that shook the financial world in Mexico: Citigroup announced that it would sell the brand Banamex and all that it included. In this way, one of the most important financial companies in the world said that its intention was to focus its business on global wealth and have a minimal specific retail presence in the US.

“They will remove the institutional business for a new banking license; everything else will be sold to the highest bidder.” Alberto Gomez Alcala, executive director of Economic Studies and Communication of the Banamex-Citigroup Financial Group.. In addition, He explained that the sale will include the name of the bank, the branches and the ATMs, in addition to the great cultural heritage that it has. In this way, Citigroup It will only own the patrimonial banking, while the Afores, brokerage houses and retail businesses, including credit portfolios, cards and credit to SMEs will be sold in their entirety, since the company specified that they do not plan to sell Banamex in parts.

“All that bank is being sold, because the name of the bank is being sold. the branch, the cashier, and so on,” he said at a conference. “[…] All the artistic heritage belongs to the Banamex bank, let’s say National Bank of Mexico, would be in the package of sale of those buildings, their branch houses, their art collection and any other infrastructure of the National Bank of Mexico would be included”, emphasized Gómez Alcalá.

An analysis note on BofA Global Research indicated that the value of CitiBanamex is between USD 12.5 billion and 15.5 billion.

The bank's value is estimated to be between $12.5bn and $15.5bn.
The bank’s value is estimated to be between $12.5bn and $15.5bn.

The history of the bank in Mexico is very extensive, because although Citibanamex, that is, the merger of the Mexican bank with Citigroup, has only been operating 20 years in the country, his predecessor, the National Bank of Mexico (Banamex) dates back to 137 years ago.

The birth of National Bank of Mexico was given on June 2, 1884, with the merger of Mexican Mercantile Bank, “free bank” as its founders themselves said, with a majority of the capital of Spanish citizens living in Mexico, and the Mexican National Bank, which had a government concession and predominant capital of French origin. Since its foundation, it was established in the viceroyalty building located on the corner of the streets Isabel la Católica and Venustiano Carraza, in the Historic Center of Mexico City, which a century before was the stately home of the counts of San Mateo de Valparaíso and Marquesses of Jaral de Berrio.

However, the first significant change for the bank came until 1991, when the group was acquired by a group of investors headed by the main shareholders of Shares of Securities of Mexico, SA de CV Casa de Bolsa, with which the Banamex-Accival Financial Group. During the following years, various subsidiaries were integrated, including Afore Banamex and Seguros Banamex.

By 1992, during the government of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari Mexican banking, which at that time belonged to the Condition, was privatized. During the government of Gortari Salt Flats, 18 benches were sold, including Banamex, Bancomer Serfin, Comermex and Somex, according to data from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Since its foundation, the bank has been established in the building that houses the stately home of the Counts of San Mateo de Valparaíso and the Marquises of Jaral de Berrio, in the Historic Center of CDMX.  Photo: Google Maps
Since its foundation, the bank has been established in the building that houses the stately home of the Counts of San Mateo de Valparaíso and the Marquises of Jaral de Berrio, in the Historic Center of CDMX. Photo: Google Maps

By 2001, more than a century after the birth of Banamex, the Banamex-Accival Financial Group was acquired 99.99% by Citigroup, and later merged with the subsidiary companies of the Citibank Financial Group, founding the Banamex Financial Group.

In 2016, Banamex announced that it would start operating under the name Citibanamex, and that same year, the directors of the bank and Citigroup They assured that the change of company name was not aimed at the sale of the Mexican subsidiary. At that time, it was also announced that the bank would make a landmark investment of 25 billion pesos in order to renew its image, technological platform, open new branches and ATMs, improve after-sales service, and build the digital bank.

KEEP READING:

“To the highest bidder”: Citi announced that it will put Banamex up for sale
Citibanamex will exit the business and consumer banking business in Mexico
The Federal Government assured that taxes will not be waived in the event of a possible sale of Citibanamex

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