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Banking

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Post by jschl453 Sat May 21, 2011 9:37 am

I have read on some other threads that Bancomer, etc are convenient for banking in Ajijic. I had been planning on establishing an account here in the US with HSBC prior to coming down because they pride themselves with their international reach. From what I can gather from their website, they have a branch in Chapala. Do you know of any HSBC connection in Ajijic?
I would like the convenience of Ajijic if doable, yet want the good relationship of a US bank with Mexican banking. Did some of you mention a connection with Bank of America?
I would appreciate your thoughts on quality, expense, and safety in dealing with particular banks.
Thanks.

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Post by Rolly Sat May 21, 2011 10:56 am

I have written some useful information about banking in México here.
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Post by Solovino Sat May 21, 2011 12:06 pm

Rolly wrote:I have written some useful information about banking in México here.

Way wrong and way out of date.

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Post by CanuckBob Sat May 21, 2011 1:58 pm

What would the right way be Solo?
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Post by hound dog Sat May 21, 2011 4:40 pm

What the hell happened to my post here? Maybe Dawg made a mistake. Let me sum up what I said as a banker for 40 years. In Ajijic , bank wth either Bancomer or HSBC. It makes no difference which one.you choose. Pick the bank with the most convenient branch near you. Anyone who complicates this question should immediately board the turnip truck to Fresno and get the hell out of here. Any challengers?.
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Post by David Sat May 21, 2011 6:39 pm

IMHO you can choose either one as long as it's Bancomer.
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Post by hound dog Sat May 21, 2011 7:22 pm

David wrote:IMHO you can choose either one as long as it's Bancomer.

Give me at least three reasons, David, for that decision as long as more facile reasons such as proximity to one´s home is excluded. I look forward to a debate on this issue.
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Post by jschl453 Sat May 21, 2011 7:35 pm

My primary question should have been : do you have convenient access to HSBC in Ajijic or do you have to go to its Chapala branch?
Would also like to hear David's reason for going with Bancomer instead of HSBC?
Thanks.

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Post by David Sat May 21, 2011 7:52 pm

HSBC has an office in the new Centro Laguna, at the intersection of the Carretera and the Libramiento. So access is no problem. I have no personal experience with Bancomer but friends rave about the service from the "Preferred Customer Unit" which focuses on expats. I had an HSBC account at the Chapala branch and had the worst banking experience of my life. There was no service. I was a stranger everytime I went there for even the most routine things. It was always neccesary to produce my passport, my bank card and DL were not sufficient. Now, this may have been the fault of the staff, never the less the result gave me a negative impression of HSBC. There's nothing to debate. They gave me nothing but service charges, but no service. Needless to say I closed my account and moved to another bank.
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Post by CanuckBob Sat May 21, 2011 8:19 pm

The first question I have is; why have a Mexican bank account at all? What advantages are there over just using an bank card to access your funds from the US or Canada? Is it easier to pay bills and/or make large purchases?
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Post by David Sat May 21, 2011 8:43 pm

A couple of reasons:

To have access to your funds located in Mexico, sometimes in amounts exceeding what you can get from an ATM.

Sometimes it's handy to be able to write a check.

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Post by jschl453 Sat May 21, 2011 8:57 pm

Thanks David. What you said is exactly what I wanted to hear, good or bad. HSBC claims this great customer service worldwide, etc. But from your experience, I am quite reluctant to open a big account with them. If you have no personal experience with Bancomer, can I ask who you use in Mexico?

I also agree with you, regarding Bob's question, that I would not want to rely solely upon ATM and the deposit limits they impose. I had hoped HSBC lived up it its claims, since it would be nice to have the common relationship between my US and Mexican banks.

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Post by simpsca Sat May 21, 2011 9:30 pm

I mentioned Bank of America. I have an account in the US - you need a US address to open the account and you can open it on line - you don't need to go into a branch. You can withdraw your money from the US bank account without ATM fees at the Santander ATMs in Jocotopec and Chapala. You can have an "online" account free - no statements, you get them on line. And you can order checks if you want those.

Most ATMs charge a fee here in Mexico for foreign bank cards of from $1.50 to $3 US per transaction and they limit your withdrawal to $3,000 pesos (about $270 US). With a B of A card and a Santander ATM, no ATM fee -gives you a better exchange rate for your US dollars.
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Post by Solovino Sat May 21, 2011 10:23 pm

CanuckBob wrote:What would the right way be Solo?

His information is dated and has some glaring errors. As an example, bank accounts are insured (IPAB) and at least Bancomer covers fraudulent withdrawal losses, which I know from personal experience.

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Post by ferret Sat May 21, 2011 10:52 pm

Simpsca...I believe your withdrawal limits from ATM's are set by your own banking institution. The local ATM's may set their limit at 3,000 pesos but what they really mean is that for each 3,000 peso withdrawal they are going to charge you XX for a service fee. I have used my own card in back to back to back transactions to get 9,000 pesos out of a machine in less than five minutes. Yes it cost me $9.00 Canadian dollars to do it but it was an emergency...they're simply making you pay for the convenience and I was happy to do so.
You can phone your bank to find out what your pre-arranged limit is and you should be able to change it to suit your personal life style.


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Post by simpsca Sat May 21, 2011 11:28 pm

ferret wrote:Simpsca...I believe your withdrawal limits from ATM's are set by your own banking institution. The local ATM's may set their limit at 3,000 pesos but what they really mean is that for each 3,000 peso withdrawal they are going to charge you XX for a service fee. I have used my own card in back to back to back transactions to get 9,000 pesos out of a machine in less than five minutes. Yes it cost me $9.00 Canadian dollars to do it but it was an emergency...they're simply making you pay for the convenience and I was happy to do so.
You can phone your bank to find out what your pre-arranged limit is and you should be able to change it to suit your personal life style.



Yes, that is what I meant to say, although I didn't mention you can take multiple withdrawls, it just incurs multiple service fees. And if you have a B of A account and use Santander there is no service fee for any withdrawl.
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Post by Hensley Sun May 22, 2011 7:07 am

We have an account in the states that we use our ATM to withdraw from, then we have a large amount in Mulitva to get interest from and we can withdraw money from that account every 28 days with an ATM card.

Multiva is paying 4.34 interest every 28 days now.
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Post by simpsca Sun May 22, 2011 8:43 am

Hensley wrote:We have an account in the states that we use our ATM to withdraw from, then we have a large amount in Mulitva to get interest from and we can withdraw money from that account every 28 days with an ATM card.

Multiva is paying 4.34 interest every 28 days now.

Which Multiva investment is that? I only have money in a bank account right now at Multiva which gets 1% or less.
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Post by David Sun May 22, 2011 11:08 am

Most likely Cetes which require $500,000 Pesos minimum.
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Post by Hensley Sun May 22, 2011 12:11 pm

Yes correct David!
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Post by David Sun May 22, 2011 12:59 pm

You can get close to 4% on other money market funds that don't have the requirement for large investment.
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Post by jschl453 Sun May 22, 2011 2:57 pm

Hi David:

Could you share some examples of those ones which require less investment and still get around 4%?
Once again, HSBC is priding itself on offering 0.8% to its US customers. UGH !!

Thanks.

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Post by David Sun May 22, 2011 3:59 pm

MultilValores is the investment company owned by Grupo MultiVa who also owns BancoMultiva. They offer several money market mutual funds with differing degrees of liquidity. They are currently returning in a range of 2.86 to 4.0%
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Post by hound dog Sun May 22, 2011 5:46 pm

Many people living here (and everywhere else) are naive about banks. Let me state up front that whatever you beleive about your bank and its BS marketing techniques - they are getting their cut plus some and have their hands in your wallet one way or the other.

I remember going into the equipment leasing business in about 1985 and the guy I went to work for was a brilliant fellow who had no scuples but was so smart and so swift of tongue and so erudite you had to admire him. He was a fabulously entertaining character and could steal your wallet in two seconds and you would still ride home thinking him a genious.

When he explained to me that the "100%" equipment leasing deals we were selling small businesses and high tech companies in the Silicon Valley carried all-inclusive rates of, normally, around 45% or more at a time when bank loan interest rates were running about 9.0%APR at 80% financing, he said to me, "Bob, you do not understand this business. The business people we deal with just want what they think is 100% financing and then go back to their printing presses or, if they are high tech Silicon Valley risky start up enterprises, just to keep that $1,500,000 piece of equipment off their capital budgets and expense it out. They want to know one thing. Can they meet the proposed monthly equipment lease payment within their proposed expense budgets and generate sufficient cash flow to pay for that machine or not. They don´t give a Goddamn what the the all-in effective interest rate is even it it is 80%. It´s not their money and their jobs depend on meeting management objectives. They have to please their bosses who have no idea what they are receiving in the buttocks. Wake up and learn the basics of selling equipment leases." (I found what my new boss said to be true. There were various ways to lie about the interest costs the most famous being quoting a "stream rate" but let´s not go there. Invariably, all the business people I tried to sell equipment leases to were only interested in the amount of the monthly payment. I only lasted about two months I am thankful to say but I still admire that shyster. What an exquisite rip-off artist.)

We see repeated posts about the special deals people think they are getting for various reasons including the notion that their Mexican bank is affiliated with their U.S. bank and they are not charged ATM or other currency transfer fees. Then they write about their personal bank´s ATM exchange rate without realizing that the bank that gives you the best exchange rate today may not do so tomorrow. This is all nonsense. Dawg was a banker for over 30 years and can tell you that the deal you think you are getting is usually 21st Century "Snake Oil"".

If one lives in Ajijic, there are, at present. two banks with retail branches. Bancomer and HSBC which just opened at that new mall. There are also some retail investment houses which might be the best deal for you under your personal circumstances but let´s not go there now because those investment houses add even another dimension to the issue of where you should do your banking in the "Lakeside" area.

I bank with Bancomer and Banamex but when I first came here in 2001 I only "banked" with the investment house of Lloyd (now Actinver) but I later moved my accounts to Bancomer (in Ajijic) and Banamex (in Chapala) for several reasons one important reason of which was our purchase of a second home in Chiapas. Another reason was that back in the early 2000s, Lloyd was about the only game in town and not only had terrible rates of return on investment pesos but nickeled and dimed its old goober clients to death all for the price of a free cup of lousy American coffee..

I don´t want go into this in any detail at present but I suggest that both Bancomer and Banamex and Actinver and HSBC are fine institutions with whom to do business as are other banks and investment houses around Lakeside so start a relationship with the banking facility nearest you or the one promising the best return on your investment (be highly skeptical) get to know the manager and operations officer and open an account but do not trust anyone. And don´t you believe for even one minute that your deposits are insured in Mexico no matter what Solovino wrote. Keep money here you can afford to lose and no more. Ain´t no FDIC SOB and there are many disingenuous business people down here who will tell you whatever they think you want to hear just as they did on Wall Street.

By the way, as another poster said, the limits placed on your daily ATM withdrawals at any ATM is Mexico are set by your own bank back wherever you came from. My bank in the U.S. routinely and consistently reverses any ATM charges imposed by any bank or other financial institution I use in Mexico, France or the U.S and I am sure that would apply in Ouagadougou as well. It makes no difference who you know, it´s who knows you.
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Post by GBATRUCKS Mon May 23, 2011 1:40 pm

I set my USAA debit card to a 6000 peso limit & only get hit one fee per transaction.
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