Awards for Excellence: Latin America
Best bank: Citibank
Best debt underwriter: JP Morgan
Best M&A firm: JP Morgan
Best securities firm: Santander Investment
The M&A fervour that has characterized Latin American banking for several years is starting to affect Euromoney's awards for excellence. Although institutions undertaking cross-border and domestic acquisitions deserve recognition for their strategic vision, the short-term effects are uncertainty and upheaval. The process of integrating different banking cultures, cutting costs and optimizing merged organizations takes time. As a result, recently merged banks have not done as well in the awards as those remaining independent. This may change as the benefits of merging begin to filter through.
M&A activity has affected the awards in another way. With so many foreign banks buying into the region - Santander, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya (BBV), HSBC, Bank of Nova Scotia and Bank of Montreal for example - the distinction between foreign and domestic institutions is becoming less clear.