Mario Maciel
View from the Top

Adding Sustainability to Mexico's Banking System

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 14:37

Q: CIBanco started as a corporate exchange institution and now offers a wide variety of services. How are your operations developing?
A: In 2018, the company will celebrate its 10th anniversary as a fully licensed banking institution. We have launched almost all the products we wanted to because we are building the bank step by step. We have reinforced different products; for example, the foreign exchange market is part of our DNA and we are one of the leading banks in this area.
We are also developing our fiduciary trust division after the purchase of Bank New York Mellon, in 2014, and we have developed automobile financing to the point where we are now among the top six players in this field. Our network now totals around 200 branches. On the corporate side, we are focused on medium and large-sized companies because our fiduciary and exchange division is strong enough to serve Mexico’s big corporations.
Q: CIBanco is the first green bank in Mexico. What does this mean and what are your responsibilities?
A: Being a green bank is part of our philosophy, but our main principle is profitability because without profitability there is no sustainability. We have designed eco-friendly products to promote the creation of green initiatives, which help build a more sustainable Mexico. For example, Crédito CIauto verde is a product that offers a lower interest rate to those who buy a green car.
Also, customers who hold sustainable accounts, which means they are paperless, receive better interest rates.
Q: CIBanco has one of the most-used technologies in the financial world to control money transfers. What is the bank doing to prevent money-laundering?
A: The prevention of money laundering is a priority for us and I think it is also a priority for the country and for the Mexican banking sector. We were the first Latin American bank to implement a tool called Swift Compliance, which demonstrates our commitment in this matter. I earned the Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) credential for compliance officers. I do not think there is another CEO in Mexico that has this certification, which proves our desire to be state-of-the-art when it comes to money laundering-prevention technology.
Q: The Mexican economy has been growing at rates of less than 3 percent. What will it take for the economy to finally take off?
A: We have had sustained growth and I think this country has everything to become a world leader: culture, sceneries and resources but, unfortunately, we have to deal with certain issues: drug trafficking, corruption and concentration of wealth. When Mexico becomes a country without corruption and with legal protections, we will become a different country.
We must develop and open new international markets. We need to be able to renegotiate trade agreements to make them more integral. Topics such as migration, anti-terrorism and drug dealing should also be considered.
Q: What is CIBanco’s strategy for the short-term?
A: CIBanco will continue to grow and to increase its product profile and loan portfolio. We do not want to over-reach our structural growth so we are moving slowly but confidently to consolidate our branches. We are opening new branches but also maturing those we already have.
Q: What are CIBanco’s strategies to facilitate access to financial services for the Mexican population?
A: Financial inclusion projects should be elaborated according to the strategy of each bank. We have been working on creating more access channels and we need to adapt to digital technologies. We must also work harder on security issues related to digital banking, such as identity theft.