The unit in Mexico of the Spanish financial group Santander expects to open its online bank in the country during the first quarter of next year openbankseeking to boost its digital business, said its general director, Felipe García, on Thursday.
Openbank currently operates in European countries and in Argentina and its arrival in Mexico will help the firm attract more clients, García added, in an interview with Reuters, within the framework of the annual bankers convention, in Mérida, in the tourist state Mexican Yucatan.
“Mexico is a country that has a relatively low level of penetration compared to other Latin American countries, and a very young population”he added. “With this growing young population that we have in Mexico and relatively unbanked, we think it will work and be very successful”said.
Garcia declined to reveal how much the company would be investing to get the business off the ground, but said Openbank will offer checking accounts, debit accounts, credit cards and add more services over time.
Last month, Santander valued its Mexican unit at some 8.1 billion euros with the launch of a voluntary offer to acquire 3.76% of the shares it does not own, as a step prior to its local listing.
Santander México is currently the third bank in the Mexican financial system by credit portfolio, with a total of 810.082 million pesos (43.231 million dollars) managed at the end of last year, according to figures from the banking regulator, CNBV.
Its shares closed on Thursday in the Mexican stock market at 24.20 pesos, with a slight gain of 0.12%.
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