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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anyone use the Mexican banks or have any experiences with them? Is there any investments ( cedes) worthwhile looking at. Any information good or bad will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

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We find no need to use them and keep our banking in the USA with online access. For cash, we use the ubiquitous ATM and do maintain an investment account just in case of a sudden need for pesos over our daily limit. It is simpler and less expensive that way and we don't have to worry too much about a sudden change in the exchange rate or lack of insurance on Mexican accounts.
 

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I find it very convenient to have a local bank and have had both peso and dollar checking accounts with Bancomer for the past four years. I rarely use the dollar account but use the peso account all the time, mainly for ATM cash withdrawals. When I was remodeling my house, the checks came in handy for paying the contractor, buying large appliances, etc. Now I rarely write checks but can if I want. My Social Security payments are direct-deposited to my peso account on the 3rd of each month. For needs beyond that, I have money wire-transferred from my bank in the US. In the long run I pay less than I would using my US bank card, and I can also make larger withdrawals immediately at the bank when necessary. Also, I have my Telmex bill paid automatically from my Bancomer account.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
banking in Mexico

Thanks for the quick reply. I will certainly be keeping my account at home and using the ATM's too. But was just curious as to how satisfied people are with their peso accounts.
Has anyone used any of the investment firms here eg. Merida Capital Investments or Llyods or maybe another you could recommend. Again my main investment account will be at home but I like some of the returns and understand the risks.
I completely understand if this is something one would not be comfortable discussing here, but would like to hear personal experiences before diving in.

symm
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. I will certainly be keeping my account at home and using the ATM's too. But was just curious as to how satisfied people are with their peso accounts.
Has anyone used any of the investment firms here eg. Merida Capital Investments or Llyods or maybe another you could recommend. Again my main investment account will be at home but I like some of the returns and understand the risks.
I completely understand if this is something one would not be comfortable discussing here, but would like to hear personal experiences before diving in.

symm
This may be a little stale but it is a good discussion. A lot of what you are asking is very situation dependent. We maintain a US bank, actually credit union, because we have properties and significant expenses there. I try to only have business relationships where can pay online from US account. We also keep most of our investment funds US based although we are tilted to foreign exchanges and companies and expect to be more so in 2010. We use Lloyd's for our Mexican funds and the majority of our Mexican expenses and do a few wire transfers each year to move funds to Lloyd's. We find the interest we get from Lloyd's preferable to ATM charges and keep ATM funds for emergencies. At Lloyds we distribute funds across multiple accounts as a trade off between interest and availability.
Interesting that Lloyds just published outlook that Mexico GDP would grow twice as fast as the US in 2010. Although we are very pleased with support that we get from Lloyds, I do need mention that a number of our friends have switched to Intercom(sp?).
 

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Thanks for the quick reply. I will certainly be keeping my account at home and using the ATM's too. But was just curious as to how satisfied people are with their peso accounts.
Has anyone used any of the investment firms here eg. Merida Capital Investments or Llyods or maybe another you could recommend. Again my main investment account will be at home but I like some of the returns and understand the risks.
I completely understand if this is something one would not be comfortable discussing here, but would like to hear personal experiences before diving in.

symm
If you are living in Mexico or in the Chapala area we would recommend Multivalor, which is a full service bank and an investment firm. They are pretty much just across the street from Lloyds in Ajijic and have their main branch in D.F. They charge much less than Lloyds and offer everything you might want (including favorable exchange rates) except for bill payment (which they are working on). In Ajijic you should contact Laurie Clark on the investment side for information. Even if you just want a checking account, go to her first. She is the best.
We also have a Banamex account which we opened for bill payment and no-fee ATM withdrawals. After 10 months and 5 times reapplying for bill payment for CFE and Telmex, including giving them copies of our passports 5 different times, they still don't pay our Telmex bill. They started paying our CFE bill after 4 applications and at least as many hours spent in abject frustration, watching the representative of the day stare intently at his/her computer screen without doing anything for minutes at a time. This is in Melaque, so they may be a little better at Banamex in Chapala. I doubt it, though.
¡Qué le vaya bien!
 

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Thanks El Toro Furioso - This is good information. I've found Lloyd a little frustrating and it'll be nice to have an alternative and especially helpful having a name.
 
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The banking system in MX is antiquated /horrendous in most ways. I use Scotia. Opening an account was a real test in patience. 3 trips to the bank, each about 3 hours. Tons of typical document requirements, such as 2 or 3 months of phone bills, rent receipts, electric bills, etc. At the end of the exercise, they handed me a contract that was about 20 pages, just for the privilege of handing them my money for deposit in my account.

I have heard Banamex is easier to open an account, but going to Banamex and always encountering between 20 and 200 customers waiting in line put me off from opening my account with them.

Physically going to banks is all about timing. Avoid Fridays. Avoid the 15th or the end/beginning of the month (big lines of customers there for their pension payments). Best times seem to be between 1:15pm until 2:30pm during the day when many customers are either picking up their kids from school or having lunch.

On the other hand, Scotia does have good points. Their online banking system uses a USB device that generates a code each and every time a transaction is done, generating a transaction-specific code to be entered for that transaction. The bill pay feature is easy once you learn it.

Scotia's fees are high. I get clipped on this end for about $250 pesos for any wire transfers in, but the wires generally hit my account within 48 hours. I haven't used an ATM card from a US bank because I left the US a long time ago. I do use an ATM card here for daily cash, but Scotia does not have a lot of ATMs available. They also have a daily withdrawal limit of MX$5000.

As for trading stocks, I have found the US online brokers very easy. If you have an interest in investing in MX stocks, you can do so with the US online brokers. You can also do FX trading on the peso under symbol "FXM".

Companies controlled by Carlos Slim account for about 1/3 of the Mexico stock markets valuation. Here is also a recent Reuters article about TelMex and the MX markets:
RPT-Mexican tycoon Slim's telecom empire loses luster | Reuters

Good luck!
 

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After much searching, I think I have found a way to effectively transfer funds to a peso denominated account in Mexico. Please take a look at Directo a México-About Directo a México

If you have an account with a Mexican bank, this appears to be the most effective means to transfer money from a US bank to a Mexican bank. The exchange rate is predicatable and consistent. If your US bank does not offer this, think we should all pressure our banks for this service.
 

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I looked at the "Directo a México" page and it seems to be more for Mexicans living in the US that want to send money here to Mexico. Anyway, I don't have an account with an institution on their list so I don't appear to be eligible.
I get along just fine with my US bank account and the plethora of ATMS here for day to day and month to month expenses - my bank reimburses me for all ATM fees and international charges. However, I am looking at buying some property to build a house on and I will need to get access to a larger amount to make the purchase. From what I see here in this forum, it appears that the best way is to get an account with a Mexican investment house (I believe one or more has a partnership with a US bank?) and transfer the money into my account there. Am I understanding what I've read here? Any tips would be great...
 

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We initiated our account with Actinver Lloyd's for just that reason. I transfer my money to a Lloyds account at BofA for redirection to my Lloyds account. If transfer in the AM, funds usually in my Lloyds account that day. We tend to use accounts equivalent to savings where can get at funds each Thursday and checking which is our daily availability account till 1PM.
We looked at some investment accounts but the availability & returns for amounts we have here don't warrant. Lloyds does have a debit card via a local bank for use in ATM's but I haven't pursued. We have had a number of friends switch to Intercam that has similar services but we haven't switched, mostly do to inertia, although some people are tweaking us to move.
 

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I have read in the past about Mexican banks and high interest payments on accounts there. Is this true? Is it possible to get a Mexican savings or checking account and earn interest on a peso account? If so does anybody know of the rates recently? As most of us know interest in the USA on similar accounts is almost nothing right now and anything helps and I know the banks are not like USA as in FDIC, but willing to take the chance of there is a form of decent interest there, thanks.
 
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You need to factor in any currency exchange fluctuations also, as well as the risk to your capital - I don't think there is an equivalent to the FDIC here in MX.

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Another question related to banking here in MX :

So I finally broke down and got an ATM card to use here in MX. Today, I went to Scotia to try out the new card and make a withdrawal - Scotia has a limit of MX$3000 and a bunch of penny-ante fees stacked on top of each transaction. My US bank gives me no-transaction fees when I use this card in MX (from their end).

Is this the norm for ATM cards from the US used in MX ATM machines, or do other banks have higher withdrawal limits and/or lower fees??
 

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There definitely is no FDIC in Mexico. My sister-in-law lost over $50,000 that she had in an account in a bank. The officers of the bank took off with the money and there is little hope for her or the other depositers to get the money back. Also there are all kinds of fees in Mexico. I wired money to a bank in Mexico and no only did I not get interest. I was chareged several hundred dollars when I took it out. Also I heard that deposits over a certain amount are taxed. This makes me very leary of banking in Mexico.
 

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You certainly do need do some independent research. I do believe that all but one of the major Mexican banks are now owned internationally.
However, we do keep our Mexican funds at Lloyds. I see very little in fees and do get interest. Yes, Mexico takes a small tax on interest that I take as a deduction on US taxes.
I asked Lloyds what their interest is. This requires disclaimers as it is a 3 year average and requires 1 million pesos. Also, past interest no indicator of future. Given that, answer is that our AWLASA account which has daily availability of funds was 5.25%, our LLOYDMAX account has availability every thursday and interest is 5.51%, the final account is available monthly and interest is 6.18%. All of these are bank account versus investment accounts. Hopefully this helps.
By the way, I always do money transfer because of the tax on large cash or check transfers that is meant to slow money laundering.
 
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