Latin American banks follow customers to South FloridaJune 27, 2013
The most recent example is Banco Itau, Brazil’s largest publicly-traded bank, which is doubling its square footage at downtown Miami’s Southeast Financial Center, the largest office tower in Florida.
Foreign banks are hoping to compete for the business of Latin Americans who are spending more time and money in South Florida, including managing market capital flight, such as in Argentina, where the central bank reported a $3.4 billion net capital outflow last year and $21.5 billion outflow in 2011. The government has responded with controversial capital controls.
Last month Chile’s third-largest bank, Banco de Credito e Inversiones, purchased City National Bank from Spanish investors for $882.8 million as part of an effort to build its first U.S. banking operation.
BCI also recently expanded its lease to 22,567 square feet at Southeast Financial Center.
To Latin Americans, Miami and the Beaches still look cheap compared to prices at home in Caracas, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and other regional capitals. Latin American hotel companies are also setting up shop in South Florida, including the first U.S. location of Chile’s Atton Hotels, as TRD previously reported.