Globalization Winds in the Latin American Banking Industry

June 2008

Thierry Ogier, Economist Intelligence Unit

Abstract

Globalization is having a strong impact on the Latin American financial services industry, according to this in-depth study conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by MasterCard Worldwide.

With global banks positioning themselves to capitalize on strong economic growth in emerging markets, the region is increasingly important to global strategies, particularly of those companies based in North America. In fact, most respondents surveyed for this study believe that the global economy will have a greater impact on their business than local markets in the medium term.

While financial services in Latin America are still largely undeveloped, competition to attract those who, to date, do not have access to these instruments and services will become intense. Brazil was clearly identified by 71% of survey respondents as the most attractive market in the region. Mexico and Argentina were a distant second and third.

Retail banking looks to be the most hotly-contested arena, with over one-quarter of respondents naming this segment as most likely to see the biggest increase in competition.

 

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