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Mexico's CNBV evaluating new entrants to the Sofipo market

Mexico's national banking and securities commission, CNBV, is analyzing 13 requests from organizations that want to operate as community financial institutions, or Sofipos, El Economista reported.

Some of the organizations are already operating as Sofincos, which are another classification of nonbank financial entities in the country, but are hoping to move up a notch and become Sofipos. Sofipos and Sofincos are both governed by the country's savings-bank laws.

Together, the applying entities have total assets of more than 700 million Mexican pesos and serve 77,000 clients, said Marco Antonio López Pérez, CNBV's vice president of supervision for banking development and people's finance.

Currently, there are 43 Sofipos operating in the country but the CNBV has not authorized any new applications since March 2014 due to fraud committed by one of the entities, Ficrea, that impacted more than 6,800 customers.

If the new applications are approved, there would be 56 active Sofipos in Mexico and they would serve some 3.7 million clients, López said.

As of April 5, US$1 was equivalent to 18.73 Mexican pesos.