In the first nine months of the year 1046 banking transactions were reported to have had characteristics of being possibly related to money laundering.
Data from the Superintendency of Banks in Guatemala indicates that 1046 reports were submitted, worth $400 million between January and September this year.
Elperiodico.com.gt reports that "...This year the number of reports increased by 25 percent, as in September 2015 only $100 million had been reported as suspicious transactions.The Superintendent indicated that this change is due to the "conscience" acquired by citizens, who are reporting more of these actions related to money laundering."Unusual situations that can not be explained by customers, become suspicious transaction and are reported," said the head of the SIB.
Increased operating costs because of risk controls imposed by the US have led to correspondent banks avoiding working with small banks.
Maintaining small structures at the same time as paying high costs in order to meet the standards required internationally, primarily in the United States, is no longer viable for banks who want to remain profitable.
The Monthly Economic Activity Index (IMAE), measured by its original series up to April 2016 stood 3.4% (4.1% in 2015).This increase in domestic production of goods and services was influenced by the performance of Financial Intermediation, Insurance and Pension Funds; Agriculture, forestry and fishing; the Manufacturing industry; Post and Telecommunications; Electricity and Water.
The Superintendence of Competition has authorized the Honduran company Imperia Intercontinental and Inversiones El Salvador to buy Banco Citibank, five of its subsidiaries, Seguros e Inversiones, and Cititarjetas.
From a statement issued by the Superintendency of Competition in El Salvador:
The Board of Directors of the Superintendency of Competition has approved this day, the authorization request for a merger consisting of the purchase of Banco Citibank de El Salvador, S.A. and five of its subsidiaries, Seguros e Inversiones S.A. (SISA) and its subsidiary and Cititarjetas, by Imperia Imperia Intercontinental Inc. and Inversiones El Salvador S.A. de C.V. The deal involves a non-horizontal economic concentration of a conglomerate for most of its operations and a vertical relationship for the provision of financial services through ATMs at gas stations.
Competition, interbank interest rates and a stable exchange rate are the reasons for the growth of the housing loan portfolio in the first quarter of 2016.
An article on Elfinancierocr.com reports that "... Housing credit has been growing at safe rate since the start of 2016 and this market is expected to remain this way for the rest of the year ... In the first quarter, the total balance of housing loans in the financial system reached ¢4.7 billion, an increase of 10.9% compared to the same period in 2015. "
The pressure being put on Panama in the international context has finally forced it to make agreements to exchange tax information, with the most noteworthy being the agreement with Colombia because of the negative implications it has for the Panamanian banking sector.
Prensa.com reports that "...According to the Superintendency of Banks of Panama, at the end of 2015, deposits in the international banking center of Panama from Colombia totaled $6.251 billion, with the South American country being the main center for funds originating from foreign sources. "
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