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Which Bank Is Best in Mexico?

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Person inserting a credit card into an ATM machine
Credit: Aleksandar Todorovic | Shutterstock

Which bank is best in Mexico? When it comes to money, most people want to be sure they can trust their financial institution, no matter where it’s located. Euromoney, the London-based monthly magazine that focuses on business and finance, recently named BBVA Bancomer the best-managed bank in Mexico.

Euromoney said, “Despite being a public company, BBVA Bancomer edges out its two main listed rivals, Santander and Banorte.” Further, the publication said Mexico has the best financial regulatory environment in Latin America.

Bancomer has invested significantly in strengthening its technology and refurbishing its branches to greatly improve its overall customer experience. Its new technology capabilities, Euromoney said, helped BBVA Bancomer to increase the number of consumer loans through digital channels to over 36 percent last year.

A key reason for BBVA Bancomer’s success is its focus on customer service, which drives customer loyalty in Mexico.

Last year, research firm Gallup asked customers of Mexican banks about their customer experience and found that most interactions with banks in Mexico are through the use of an ATM, but more than three in four customers reported they visited their branch in the past six months and nearly half phoned their banks’ call center.

The research showed that customers who strongly agreed that their bank offers excellent customer service are more than four times as likely to be fully engaged as those who do not.

The research firm concluded that if banks in Mexico make their customer service a priority, it could likely improve customer ratings not only on this measure, but also on other measures such as trust in the bank, ease of doing business and problem resolution, all while boosting overall customer engagement.

It appears that BBVA Bancomer’s investments in this area have paid off well.

But do expats in Mexico use Mexican banks? Last month’s Monthly Expat Poll asked you to tell us how you handle your banking needs. Just 15 percent use a Mexican bank. Most expats use a home country bank (40 percent) or a combination (30 percent). About 15 percent use online-only banks. Keep in mind, though, that the number of respondents was just 53 people, but the information is directional.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Personally, BBVA Bancomer is a fat cat bank that charges outrageous interest on its cards.. I no longer do business with Bancomer.. My bank is Scotia Bank and I’m very happy with my new bank..

    • I started with Banorte. They were terrible. I couldn’t make a withdrawal (30,000 pesos)….thwy told me.it was too much to withdrawl at one time. They wouldn’t give me a credit card even though I had a lot of money in their bank. I switched to Scotiabank and do not regret it. Scotia has given me great customer service and gave me a credit card. Wonderful bank.

    • ScotiaBank has a banking relationship with Bank of America, with whom I have banked with since my youth. The relationship makes banking between the “US | Mexico | Canada” seamless. Exchange rates are competitive with other online and traditional Banks in Mexico. We couldn’t be happier.

  2. Bancomer is terrible. Long lines. When I tried to close my account I had to spend three days at the bank. First I had a credit balance which they would not refund. I had to buy something at that amount or more and pay more. Then I returned to the bank waited but my number was not called. Several days later I returned and happily canceled my account.

    The best bank in Mexico for withdrawals is Caja Popular. It’s like a credit union. They have new ATMs which beep until you take your card back so you don’t accidentally leave it. They charge 17.50 pesos per transaction and their exchange rate is the best in town. I have lived here for 16 years and I don’t see the need for a local bank.

  3. After reading your blog on BBVA I will say they are not the worst (close) all Mexican banks are a bit difficult for foreigners. I’ve done business here for 20 years. I’ve had some success with banco Azteca and CI bank.
    But unfortunately it’s difficult to give advice since things vary from day to day and from branch to branch. Get your doc’s together and go in and be patient.

  4. Whatever you do, do not bank with @Citibanamex, they have awful customer service! I had a replacement card stolen in the mail (before it even got to me) and nearly 34k pesos worth of credit spent online by who-knows-who. I have already filed complaints with their “aclaraciones” and “unidad de servicios especializados” departments, and they insist that it was my fault the card got abused, and now I have to pay up. They won’t even look up in their own records to check who they delivered that card to. I have already started action through CONDUSEF and will cancel all my accounts with Citibanamex when all the mess they caused is cleared.

  5. Obviously they’ve never had an account with these thieves, and take it from me, they are thieves. They are also incredibly petty, if you want a terrible bank, they’re the ones for you.

  6. We’ve had horrible experiences with Santander. They are inept in the extreme. Right now I’m waiting for a call regarding them locking my online account access – the same day I retrieved my replacement debit card after waiting 2 hours in the branch. (In the hot sun, I might add, as they rationed customers entering the bank, though there was plenty of space inside out of the sun. The attendant simply didn’t give a flying care.)

    The reason I needed a replacement card is that my old one was stolen during a night-time burglary. They used the card between 6am and 9am to make 10 purchases, all but one at Farmacias Guadalajara, the other being a Telcel phone top up! Santander didn’t think that these transactions were unusual and let them go right through. But when I went on line to pay bills I pay every month, they locked me out!

    Simply mind-blowingly dumb. What am I? A thief who steals your card and then proceeds to pay YOUR bills with it??

    We’ve also had unauthorised insurance debits, blocks when making Amazon purchases, blocks when making La Comer purchases, etc. (But when actual criminals are using my card, no problem!)

    Their online banking is terrible, you can’t change your address online, no-one ever answers the phone, and they hang up on your if they happen to answer. Just an abysmal bank.

  7. After being told today that I could not take money out of my “plazo” savings account because the hour was 2 pm, I realized that Santander “executives” and the director care nothing about clients. I told the woman giving out number for my turn that I came to take money for savings. When my turn came, 1:50 pm, I told the exec I wanted money from my plazo account. He said I could not take out money after 1:30. I had spent most of the morning on the phone with Santander trying to find out how to transfer money from plazo to checking. Santander said I could not take money on the weekend. No one could tell me how to transfer money from savings to checking. Such primitive rules are part of why productivity in Mexico is low. Lines of people waiting for service reduces hours people can earn money to live. The arrogance of clerks and favoritism in who gets seen first are huge problems.

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