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Banks back Banxico against forced purchases of dollars

(Bloomberg) – Mexico’s major banks told the country’s central bank on Friday that they would support its efforts to fight a Senate proposal that would force Banco de México to buy cash that the monetary policymaker fears may be contaminated. with drug proceeds, people familiar with the talks said. Central bank governor Alejandro Díaz de León spoke with senior executives from banks such as BBVA Mexico, Citibanamex and Santander in a private virtual meeting about the unexpected bill. the people said. The central bank, known as Banxico, and the banks that participated in the meeting did not immediately respond to electronic requests for comment on Sunday. The legislation would force Banxico to buy foreign currency from local banks if they cannot find another bank other than them. Less and less major banks want to manage dollar cash deposits due to strict anti-money laundering regulations and limits on deposits from individuals and businesses. When banks have large dollar deposit vaults, they can no longer find institutions prepared to buy them back. The number of US banks willing to accept bulk cash shipments declined over the past decade in the wake of the money laundering scandals at HSBC and Wachovia. It’s not a big deal for global banks operating in Mexico, but it does hamper business for local lenders. Ricardo Monreal, Senate leader of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s Morena party, introduced the bill late last month. . The Morena senator who leads the Finance committee, Alejandro Armenta, said lawmakers would incorporate the central bank’s opinion, but said the bill would likely be voted on this week in the Senate, where Morena has a majority with his allies, and then it would be sent to the lower house. Sanctions Concern At Friday’s meeting, representatives of the country’s banking association ABM discussed the publication of a press release supporting Banxico’s position. The group is led by Luis Niño, the president of billionaire Ricardo Salinas’ Banco Azteca, and represents smaller Mexican banks, as well as the country’s large international banks. The lobby issued a statement Monday morning, saying a solution was needed that would not put the central bank’s autonomy at risk. The ABM said it agreed with the social goals of the Monreal bill, such as helping to Mexican migrants to obtain a good price for remittances. The group said that Mexican banks were following the law and that it supported efforts to deepen the dialogue between national and international authorities. “The ABM considers that it is of utmost importance that the improvements to the foreign exchange collection and export system that are discussed , should not affect in any way the autonomy of the Bank of Mexico, “said the ABM. Díaz de León said in an internet broadcast on November 25 that the central bank itself could run the risk of receiving sanctions for handling doubtful dollars origin. The bill could prevent global banks with strict anti-money laundering rules from transacting with the central bank, said one of the people who attended the meeting. Central bank officials see no way to modify the draft. current law and on Friday they discussed alternatives with bankers, including using development banks controlled by the Finance Ministry as last-resort dollar buyers, the people said. Morena’s senators argue the reform is necessary to help ensure that migrants do not have to sell dollars to small forex brokers at a loss. It is estimated that Mexico will receive more than US $ 40 billion in remittances this year. But most of that sum is sent by wire transfers and the cash amounts to less than 1%, central bank data shows. US officials have said they believe much of the physical dollars in Mexico come from the sale of drugs Tourists and border economies also contribute a portion of the U.S. currency Original Note: Banks Pledge to Back Banxico Against Forced Dollar Purchases (1) For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source. © 2020 Bloomberg LP

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