Central America: Money laundering – consolidation from the bottom?
Roberto Zamora, president of Lafise, says that money-laundering regulation is the pertinent driver of consolidation throughout the region.
Roberto Zamora, president of Lafise
As the number of US banks that are willing to act as correspondent banks – and as those that continue to function in this capacity put added scrutiny and compliance costs on the regional banks, especially those with nesting accounts from other small local banks – the business model for small banking entities will, he argues, break down and lead to competitive advantages for pan-regional players.
“The pressure on the lower end of the banking scale – which comes from the regulations that put added pressure on corresponding banking relationships – will have more of an impact on the banking system than those that affect G-Sibs,” Zamora says.
Franklin Santerelli, banking analyst at Fitch, thinks that BAC will be well placed to benefit – given both its scale and the experience that Grupo Aval has in complying with international regulations in this area.
“BAC has meaningful operations in all these countries – as well as belonging to Banco de Bogotá – and so it won’t be an issue for them,” says Santerelli.