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Citi Central America: end of an era

Thursday, July 23, 2015


The departure of Citi is the end of an era, as big multinationals leave the region.

Instead, important new players in Central American financial markets include three Colombians and Scotiabank, which this month bought the commercial operations of Citi in Costa Rica and Panama.

HSBC two years ago sold part of its Central American business to Medellín-based BanColombia (only Spanish), one of Latin America’s biggest financial institutions.

Davivienda, part of Bogota-based Grupo Bolivar (only Spanish), bought the other part.

GE Capital in 2010 sold its regional operations to Grupo Aval (only Spanish), which includes Banco de Bogotá and BAC Credomatic, Central America’s biggest credit card company.

In addition, Honduras’ Ficohsa (only Spanish) last March bought Citi’s commercial banks in Nicaragua, as well as in its home country.

Citi still has a bank in El Salvador, which is waiting for a buyer.