Back in December 26, 2006 I wrote about the banking war in Central America between Citibank and HSBC Bank over the access and the control of the currencies in the isthmus in the post entitled Banking on the Banks. Below you can read the introductory paragraph:
There is a war going on between CitiBank and HSBC Bank over the control of the Central American money. Recently, these two humongous banking corporations pulled out their hefty wallets and bought out four of the largest Central American Banking chains: Banco Uno, Banco Cuscatlán, Banistmo, Banco de América Central (this one still in the works). I guess there is money [to be made] in the banks.
… it seems to me there’s really only one way to make money.
And I don’t just mean get money, like from people depositing it with you. Nor do I mean earn money that already exists, like you would from say, working or investing.
No, I actually mean it: MAKE NEW MONEY!
The fact that banks can actually create money is why they’re such a great business.. and also why the recent crash has been so hard.
On Monday, November 10, Citi officially defaced Banco Cuscatlán and Banco Uno and from this point forward will do business as Banco Citibank de Guatemala. I just hope they change their ugly generic signs soon for tiled or metal sign to be in harmony with the signage regulations in La Antigua Guatemala.
In the picture above, you can see the Citi sign on what used to be Banco Cuscatlán branch in the corner of Parque Central. Below, the new Citi sign which replaced the Banco Uno wood and metal sign.