Chile’s banks focus on home market

Jason Mitchell
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With room to grow domestically, and foreign stakeholders in two of the biggest banks already active in the region, there is little incentive for Chile’s banks to expand abroad.

Chile’s biggest banks already have a strong international dimension and are unlikely to be at the forefront of financial services integration in the Andean region, according to experts.

Banco de Chile, which has Citi as its largest minority shareholder, with more than 40% of the group’s equity, is the biggest bank in the country. It is followed closely by Spanish bank Santander and 100% state-owned Banco Estado. Banco de Chile has 19% of the loans market and 18% of the deposits market, while Santander has 19% of loans and 16% of deposits, according to Moody’s.

Banco de Chile, through its Citi connection, and Santander already have extensive links throughout Latin America, including in the Andean region. As a state-owned bank, Banco Estado has few designs on expanding outside Chile.

"Both Banco de Chile and Santander have room to expand in domestic markets," says Jeanne...