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Report: Competition intensifying among Mexican banks for credit card customers

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Report: Competition intensifying among Mexican banks for credit card customers

Facedwith the decreasing use of credit cards in Mexico, competition is intensifying amongbanks for credit card customers, mainly by offering lower interest rates to clientsfrom other banks, El Financiero reported April 7, citing Mexicanbank executives.

Banksare focused on capturing clients from other banks by attracting them with lowerinterest rates, said Grupo FinancieroSantander Mexico SAB de CV CEO Héctor Grisi, adding that Mexican consumersare becoming more informed when it comes to seeking out cards with the best rates.

As withmortgage loans, bank clients with credit card loans are able to transfer their debtsto other banks or refinance them with lower interest personal loans, he said.

For example,depending on the client, Santander Mexico offers a fixed interest rate of 16.9%to transfer credit card debt that must be paid in 13 months, Grisi said.

CEO Marcos Ramírez agreed there is strong competition in the credit cards segment,and said that, in order to retain clients, banks like Banorte offer differentiatedservices and rates depending on the client.

Creditcard use has fallen in Mexico following the recent fiscal reform as clients nowhave other financing options including personal loans, which has increased competitionamong banks, Jorge Sánchez, an economist at financial research foundation Fundef,was cited as saying.

and Grupo Financiero Banamex SA deCV have the most number of credit cards in Mexico, with 6.05 millionand 5.04 million, respectively, as of December 2015, according to data from bankingregulator CNBV and the central bank, which was cited in the report.