Scotiabank Snaps Up Citibank’s Consumer Business in Colombia

The acquisition, experts say, will make Banco Colpatria the market leader in credit cards, increasing its scale in Colombia through the addition of more than 500,000 new customers.

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Canadian banking giant, the Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank), has agreed to purchase the consumer business of Citibank in Colombia.

Citibank’s operations in Colombia include 47 branches and 424 self-service access points across the country. Under the agreement, all employees of Citibank’s consumer and small enterprise banking units will join Banco Colpatria, Scotiabank’s Colombian subsidiary.

The acquisition, experts say, will make Banco Colpatria the market leader in credit cards, increasing its scale in Colombia through the addition of more than 500,000 new customers.

Banco Colpatria is the fifth largest banking group in Colombia, with 1.5 million retail, corporate, and commercial customers, and US$13-billion in assets.

Citi will not exit Colombia altogether. Alvaro Jaramillo, Citi Country Head, says the American bank will keep its presence in the country with all of its current corporate and investment bank product offerings, namely treasury, markets, and investment banking.

The US bank has already sold its consumer business in several Latin American countries. Three years ago, Scotiabank purchased Citi’s retail banking in Peru.

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With extensive retail banking operations in Mexico, Chile, and Peru, Scotiabank is a major player in the Latin American financial services sector. Its consumer business is also growing, with the Canadian bank investing heavily in the region to gain supremacy in financial technology.

This is its second major acquisition in Latin America in the past three months after it bought a 68% stake in BBVA Chile for US$2.9 billion in December last year.

“We’re excited about this acquisition because it will allow us to serve new customers in Colombia and it is in line with Scotiabank’s strategy to increase scale within the Colombian banking sector, as well as the other Pacific Alliance economies of Mexico, Chile, and Peru,” said Nacho Deschamps, Group Head of International Banking and Digital Transformation at Scotiabank.

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