UK bank to compete in Mexico

Barclays Capital, the investment banking wing of the UK bank, has ambitions to be one of the biggest mortgage underwriters in Mexico.

The bank has said it expects to underwrite close to 20 per cent of all mortgage bonds in Mexico this year, as the company seeks to compete with the top two banks in market, Credit Suisse and US giant Citigroup.

News of Barclays' ambitions comes as a slew of foreign banks are also looking to capitalise on the boom in the Mexican mortgage market which has grown by 40 per cent since 2004.

Commenting on the announcements to a Mexican newspaper, Barclays Capital co-president Grant Kvalheim said: "We want to be the best investment bank in the world, and that doesn't happen unless we succeed on a big scale in places like Mexico, the U.S and Brazil."

However, although the bank last year invested some $100 million in the territory and it has no plans to open a retail banking department.

The bank underwrote its first mortgage in Mexico in January of this year.

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