Grupo Financiero Banamex

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Grupo Financiero Banamex,
S.A. de C.V
IndustryFinancial services
PredecessorGrupo Financiero Banamex Accival
Founded2 June 1884; 135 years ago (1884-06-02) [1] as Banco Nacional de México (Banamex)
Key people
Manuel Medina-Mora Escalante
(Chairman of the Board)
Ernesto Torres Cantú
ProductsBanking, financial
RevenueIncrease US$ 18.3 billion (2010)
Increase US$ 1.7 billion (2010)
Total assetsIncrease US$ 58.4 billion (2011)
Number of employees
41,390 (2012)[1]

Grupo Financiero Banamex S.A. de C.V. has its origins and is the owner of the Banco Nacional de México or Citibanamex (formerly Banamex). It is the second largest bank in Mexico. The Banamex Financial Group was purchased by Citigroup in August 2001 for $12.5 billion USD. It continues to operate as a Citigroup subsidiary.


Banamex was formed on 2 June 1884 from the merger of two banks, Banco Nacional Mexicano and Banco Mercantil Mexicano, which had operated since the beginning of 1882. The newly founded bank had branches in Mérida, Veracruz, Puebla, Guanajuato and San Luis Potosí, and opened a branch in Guadalajara. The bank was reorganized in 1926, becoming a financing bank and establishing the first agency of a Latin American bank in New York City.

Banamex gradually introduced several financial product innovations to the Mexican market including savings accounts (in 1929), personal credit lines (in 1958), credit cards (in 1968), and ATM banking (in 1972). In 1981, Banamex acquired the California Commerce Bank.

Facade of the Banamex building located on the corner of Carranza and Palma streets in the historic center of Mexico City.

In the midst of a severe economic crisis (1982), President José López Portillo announced a major devaluation of the peso and nationalized all private banks in Mexico. For the next nine years Banamex operated as a government owned national credit association. In 1991, Banamex was reprivatized and it established Grupo Financiero Banamex–Accival with the investment bank Acciones y Valores de México (Accival).

For the next four years Banamex and the rest of the Mexican private banks presided over an unprecedented expansion of private credit in Mexico. This expansion occurred in an environment characterized by: i) the lack of a credit culture at the newly privatized banks, which had been bought at rich multiples by individuals and organizations without lending experience, and ii) lax oversight by regulatory authorities, which led in some instances to the occurrence of irregular transactions (such as related party transactions).

The result of this aggressive expansion of credit was to strain the bank's balance sheet (loan portfolio quality ratios and capitalization ratios). The December 1994 macro-devaluation of the Mexican pesos (see the December Mistake) and the ensuing significant increase in domestic interest rates coupled with a dramatic economic recession, caused Banamex's and much of the rest of the privatized banks to essentially become insolvent.

Banamex former logo used from the 1990s until 2016

In order to avoid the potentially catastrophic effects of generalized bank bankruptcies, the Ernesto Zedillo administration decided to rescue the troubled banks through a government fund (Instituto de Protección al Ahorro Bancario or IPAB, later called Fondo Bancario de Protección al Ahorro or Fobaproa). IPAB enticed the banks' shareholders to inject fresh equity into the banks by pledging to buy from the banks non-performing loans in a two to one (or in some cases greater) ratio with respect to the newly injected fresh capital in exchange for a long-dated government note with capitalized interest. Banamex eventually sold $_ worth of non-performing loans to IPAB, and its shareholders injected $_ of fresh equity. The combination of these measures coupled with a recovery of the Mexican economy helped clean up the bank's balance sheet.

From 1997 to 2001 Roberto Hernández Ramírez was the CEO. In 1997, Afore Banamex was created to access the newly created private pension fund market.

On August 6, 2001, Citigroup Inc. acquired Grupo Financiero Banamex-Accival for US$12.5 billion, which became Grupo Financiero Banamex. This was the largest-ever U.S.-Mexico corporate merger. Grupo Financiero Banamex's operations were integrated with Citibank's relatively small existing Mexico business under the Banamex brand name.

In October 2014, allegations were made that employees had taken millions of dollars in kickbacks from vendors. Authorities in Mexico and the United States are investigating the allegations. Citigroup encouraged Manuel Medina-Mora to resign.[3]


A Banamex ATM in Puerto Vallarta

The following are subsidiaries of Grupo Financiero Banamex:

  • Banamex
  • Accival
  • Afore Banamex
  • Seguros Banamex
  • Arrendadora Banamex
  • Operadora e Impulsora de Negocios
  • Acción Banamex
  • Pensiones Banamex
  • Fomento Cultural
  • Fomento Social

Banamex USA[edit]

After Citigroup's purchase of Banamex in 2001, Banamex decided to expand into the U.S. by opening a subsidiary in the country and creating Banamex USA. Most of the banks branches were located in the Southwest with branches in California, Texas, and Arizona. The U.S. subsidiary didn't last long though and was shut down in 2015 after a 6-year investigation into Citigroup's and Grupo Financiero Banamex' money laundering scheme by the U.S. Department of Justice.[4] This resulted in Citigroup having to pay a $140 million fine.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Banco Nacional de México, S.A. (2013). "Reporte Anual que se presenta de acuerdo con las Disposiciones de Carácter General aplicables a las Emisoras de Valores y a otros Participantes del Mercado de Valores respecto al ejercicio terminado el 31 de diciembre de 2012" (PDF) (in Spanish). pp. 6–7, 61. Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  2. ^ Grupo Financiero Banamex, S.A. de C.V (2013). "Consejo de Administración" (PDF) (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 March 2014.
  3. ^ "Another Scandal Hits Citigroup's Moneymaking Mexican Division". The New York Times.
  4. ^ "Citigroup Likely to Close Banamex USA". Stock Market Advice | Investment Newsletters - Profit Confidential. June 1, 2015.
  5. ^ "UPDATE 2-Citi to shut Banamex USA, pay $140 mln fine". July 22, 2015 – via

External links[edit]