At Last the Internationalization of Retail Banking? The Case of the Spanish Banks in Latin America
Since 1995 two Spanish banks -- Banco Santander Central Hispano and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya -- have become the largest foreign banks in retail banking in Latin America. This recent development merits careful analysis because foreign direct investment is rare in retail banking. We find that the Spanish banks are exhibiting asset-seeking, asset-exploiting, and oligopolistic behaviors, thus posing no serious challenge to established theories of foreign investment. We discuss the implications for research on cross-border banking.
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