Bank of London and South America

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The Bank of London and South America or BOLSA (Spanish: Banco de Londres y América del Sur, also known simply as Banco de Londres) was a British bank, which operated in South America between 1923 and 1986.

Origins[edit]

The bank was incorporated in England on 27 September 1862[1] as the London, Buenos Ayres, and River Plate Bank, originally to operate in Buenos Aires. It soon opened branches elsewhere in Argentina, and changed its name to the London and River Plate Bank in 1865. The Bank expanded over the years to have operations in Uruguay, Brazil and Chile.[2] In 1918 it was acquired by Lloyds Bank.

In 1923 Lloyds Bank brought about a merger with the separately owned London and Brazilian Bank, to prevent the two banks being in direct competition with each other. The merged bank was renamed Bank of London and South America. Lloyds retained a major interest in BOLSA throughout its subsequent history.

History[edit]

In 1936 BOLSA took over many of the operations of its chief rival, the Anglo-South American Bank, which had gone into liquidation. The acquisitions included Banco A. Edwards, one of the largest banks in Chile.

In 1958 the bank formed a joint venture with the Bank of Montreal, known as the Bank of London and Montreal, headquartered in Nassau, Bahamas. BOLSA contributed its branches in Central and northern South America to the joint venture. In 1970 BOLSA bought out its joint venture partners, and regained its branches in Central America, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, but not its branches in Venezuela, which BOLAM had closed in 1965.

In 1971, Lloyds Bank bought the controlling interest in BOLSA and merged it with Lloyds Bank Europe to form Lloyds and Bolsa International Bank.[3] This became Lloyds Bank International in 1974 and was merged into Lloyds Bank in 1986.[4] Banco Edwards was sold in 1987 to Midland Bank, part of HSBC since 1992, and merged into Banco de Chile in 2001.

Buenos Aires headquarters[edit]

In 1966 the bank opened a new local headquarters in central Buenos Aires, designed by Argentine architect Clorindo Testa. It is one of the best examples of brutalism in Argentine architecture.

References[edit]