BBVA plans to leave Chilean market

Isabel Cocker/The Santiago Times

SANTIAGO – The Spanish bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, has decided to pull its business out of Chile, after 19 years of banking in the South American country.

Now wishing to leave within 45 days, according to La Tercera, BBVA has been in silent negotiations with other banking firms to find a business to take over their entire Chilean franchise.

In a notice to the National Securities Market Commission of Spain (CNMV) published on Wednesday, the Spanish bank is stated to be in advanced negotiations with ScotiaBank, who has shown high but “non-binding” interest in the purchase.

The notice to the CNMV declared that: “Scotiabank has asked to receive private documents and information about BBVA and to interview the management of this business so as to be able to analyse the operation. This has been authorised by the Director of BBVA Chile, after the signing of a confidentiality agreement.”

However, La Tercera reports there are as many as four other banks considering this possible expansion, including Itáu-Corpbanca and Security.

In a report released in July by the Super-Intendancy of Banks and Financial Institutions in Chile (SFIB), BBVA took almost $60 000 million in the first 6 months of the year, far from the $336 000 million taken by Santander or the $331 000 million by Banco de Chile, the leaders of the Chilean market.

The company normally aims to occupy one of the top two or three places in the market, however in Chile it is the seventh largest bank, with 6.19% of the national investment. El Mostrador has postulated this as a reason for its closing.