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Mexican government drafting tailor-made regulations for smaller banks

The Mexican government is working with local banking association ABM to draft "tailor-made" regulations for medium-sized banks and small niche lenders in order to reduce their regulatory and administrative costs, Finance Undersecretary Arturo Herrera said.

In an interview with El Financiero on the sidelines of Mexico's 82nd annual banking convention, Herrera said the differentiated regulations would allow for better supervision of banks and excuse them from unnecessary procedural requirements.

This, he added, could spur the creation of smaller banking institutions in rural areas where bigger banks do not have a presence.

As an example, Herrera said some financial institutions engage primarily in investment banking activity and do not extend mortgage loans, but they are still required to present reports on their mortgage lending business.

Additionally, he said the topic of bank commissions was not discussed at the convention because the government considers that issue "closed." ABM chief Marcos Martínez Gavica earlier ruled out an across-the-board agreement among banks and legislators to lower banking fees, claiming that such a deal would violate competition rules.

Herrera also said the government is working on a national identification registry to help foster financial inclusion and prevent banking customers from identity theft, El Economista reported separately.

"New technologies will allow for the definitive launch of the use of digital banking in Mexico ... having the possibility of paying from telephone to telephone," he was quoted as saying.