Alberto Pineda Tuells
Vice President of the Honorable Board of Directors
Unión de Crédito del Soconusco, S. A. de C. V.
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Expert Contributor

Tapachula: Witness to the Changes in Mexico

By Alberto Pineda | Wed, 07/20/2022 - 11:00

"Hope is the Dream of the Awakened Man." (Aristotle)

On March 8, 1990, 28 individuals with businesses and three corporations all located in Tapachula, Chiapas, decided to establish a Credit Union, originally named Unión de Crédito Industrial del Soconusco, S. A. de C. V. and today called Unión de Crédito del Soconusco, S. A. de C. V., a non-bank financial intermediary that has 32 years of services in savings and financing services in the Soconusco region of Chiapas:

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iMind Map

1. Basic Idea of Order: Background.

1.1 The Soconusco Credit Union (UCS) has always articulated the savings, investment and credit instruments pertinent to the economic environments of the time.

1.2 It is characterized by an institutional administration.

1.3 UCS has faced and granted strong solutions to its members and investors during the 9/11 crisis, H1N1, the 2008 recession, interest rates in 2016 and today before the intense caravans of continental and extra continental immigrants and the COVID-19 pandemic, the last two events highly delicate and with an impact on national security.

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iMind Map II

1.4 Our origins are noble and with the spirit of inclusion and service, always in compliance with the applicable legal framework.

1.5 We are very clear about what we are going to do, how we are going to do it, when we have to do it, and how much will it cost. We define the specific answers before the end of each fiscal year, which is to say, they are established every December of the current year.

1.6 UCS was born 32 years ago with a collective regional initiative of entrepreneurship and its spirit is strengthened year after year.

2. Basic Idea of Order: The 2022 Articulation

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iMind Map III

2.1 From October 2018 to May 2022, we have been living with two high-caliber scenarios, one caused by the impacts of the permanent continental and now also extra continental migrant caravans (Congo, Uganda, Syria, Haiti, India) that in the year 2022 reached a level that has exceeded any expectation, and the confinement resulting from COVID-19.

2.2 Additionally, the world conditions of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity have increased due to the absence of peace, economic recovery and health scenarios.

2.3 UCS then resolved points II.1 and II.2, the iMind Map III, in a very pragmatic but highly substantive way toward its partners/shareholders. This allowed it to close the year without further shocks and those existing to date are duly delimited and reserved.

2.4 UCS has been respectful of the applicable legal framework issued by the National Banking and Securities Commission.

2.5 UCS has generated the flexibility required to face the intense social and economic waves and storms.

2.6 UCS has strengthened its spirit of inclusion and every step is carried out in compliance with its institutionalization in the promotion, operation and control of performance.

3. Basic Idea of Order: Requirements.

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iMind Map IV

3.1 The Countercyclical Bulletins and Circulars issued in fiscal year 2020 by the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) allowed us to amplify our flexibility in granting strong responses in terms of Investment and financing to our member base.

3.2 We obtained the necessary resources to grant the loans and restructurings requested by our members using a tailor-made model.

3.3 We conducted the research to incorporate digitalization models with the DTx (digital transformation) concept and, thanks to BUZAN, Latin America and the US, we were able to train and certify our board members, management and executives in order to start with a new normal and a more competitive platform.

3.4 Our planning from and for 2020 to 2022 was based on a very conservative model in economic and financial terms.

4. Basic Idea of Order: Benefits.

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iMind Map V

4.1The confinement resulting from the pandemic caused a deceleration in our tertiary economic activities, and the closing of the border with Central America was a very strong blow; nevertheless, commercial operations did not stop in their totality, being carried out at an estimated rate of 15 percent to 38 percent of the normally established activities.

4.2 The agricultural and agro-industrial activities did not stop, and thanks to them we continue to rank No. 1 nationally in the production of coffee, Mexican plums (jocote), Ataulfo Mangos (with Denomination of Origin), bananas and rambutan; No. 3 in beef and No. 4 in honey production.

4.3 UCS maintained its support for the sectors in points IV.1 and IV.2 with new financing and requested refinancing.

4.4 UCS also provided financial support to companies that provided employment to migrants in the process of regularizing their immigration status.

4.5 We worked at all times with risk management and mitigation in mind.

4.6 UCS also provided services to regional exporting and foreign exchange-generating companies.

4.7 All biosecurity protocols were incorporated.

4.8 Profits were generated to establish the sufficiency in capital reserves and also to prepare the payment of cash dividends.

We highlight that despite the confinement due to COVID-19 and the intensity of the migrant caravans, from 2020 to 2022, in the municipality of Tapachula, private capital investments have not stopped; particularly in the sectors of agribusiness, industry, commerce and services, these have significantly increased, generating employment and economic activity that has been a valuable source of stability. In 2022, at the time of this publication (June), Tapachula has received about MX$1.810 billion in private capital investments, creating almost 1,050 direct and 2,000 indirect jobs.

Additionally, the Municipal Public Administration of Tapachula has been impeccable, carrying out works and public investment to improve urban infrastructure, lighting, sanitation and social assistance and contributing to the generation of the micro- and macroeconomic social market stability.

As for our Gross Domestic Product, the primary sector represents 18 percent, the secondary sector 21 percent and the tertiary sector 61 percent.

And to date, the figure of the UCS placement portfolio is:

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Photo by:   Alberto Pineda Tuells