BNP Paribas (Paris: BNP .PA) has sold their local Panama business to Scotiabank (TSX:BNS) Panama. At the time of local press report, BNP had yet to find a buyer for the private banking and trust business served from Panama for the benefit of Latin American offshore beneficiaries. The small size of a Panama branch makes this market currently unattractive to multinational mega-banks.
Based on the experience from past closures of Panama branches of European banks, this could be an opportunity for private bankers seeking to acquire a portfolio of Latin American clients.
The Panama media originally reported that the closure was based on the blacklisting of the Panama banking system by the G-20 as described by French bank officials. However, the closure of the Argentina branch which has not been blacklisted and the drop in BNP Paribas makes the explanation by French bank executives unlikely.
If the G-20 black list forced BNP Paribas to sell its Panama branch, why did BNP also sell their Argentine branch after doing business for 95 years?
BNP Paribas vendió negocios locales
EDITH CASTILLO DUARTE
El banco canadiense Scotiabank concretó la compra de las operaciones de banca corporativa del BNP Paribas, pero aún no hay acuerdo para los negocios de banca privada y de fideicomisos.
El gerente general de BNP Paribas en Panamá, Christian Giraudon, dijo que está "en contacto con varios bancos locales y extranjeros para la cartera de banca privada y fideicomiso, proceso que sigue abierto y todavía tomará un par de semanas".
En una operación paralela, el panameño Credicorp Bank logró cerrar ayer la compra del edificio que albergaba antes de mudarse a Punta Pacífica las operaciones de BNP Paribas en la Vía España.
This network consists of 17 branches in the City and Province of Buenos Aires and offers services to more than 30,000 private customers and 900 corporations.
"BNP Paribas has been present in Argentina since 1914 and remains committed to its corporate clients in the country. The bank will focus exclusively on providing its extensive platform of products and services to corporate clients and institutional investors," BNP Paribas reported.