Contxto – Not too long ago, I was complaining writing about how bureaucracy and Covid-19 slowed down the license-granting process for fintechs in Mexico. And there are new developments in that regard. Whether it’s good or bad news for fintechs is yet to be seen. 

The National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) announced it’s doing some restructuring that will, theoretically, make it more effective in how it monitors fintechs.

This restructuring will be disclosed soon via a series of new regulations.

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According to sources from El Economista, the supervising body for fintechs will have more directorates-general than its current structure. 

Likewise, an Inter-Institutional Committee will be established. It will have reps from Mexico’s Central Bank, Internal Revenue Service, and the CNBV, to validate applicants who want to operate within the country’s fintech law.

CNBV: less budget, more problems?

Hopefully, all these changes will make the organization more effective but equally diligent and efficient in regulating fintechs.

I say this because the CNBV has been understaffed since late 2018. Not because people are quitting but rather because of budget cuts by the Mexican government.

The trouble is that with less-experienced personnel at the CNBV, some experts are concerned it will lead to oversight.

“The CNBV lost a lot of talent and supervising capability,” says Enrique Díaz, a financial analyst from the Espinosa Yglesias Center of Studies, a Mexican think tank.

“We’ll likely wind up with banks having problems that authorities were unable to detect on time.”

Those problems may include issues related to fraud, money-laundering, etc.

Banco Famsa filed for bankruptcy and it’s speculated that the CNBV did not do enough to sanction the financial institution when it began dishing out loans that went beyond the legal bracket.

What does this mean for fintechs and users?

Trial and error for fintechs in Mexico

Ever the optimist, I’d like to think that the CNBV’s first experience evaluating applicants to operate within the Fintech Law procured valuable lessons for both it and the fintechs themselves.

These experiences should ideally lead to a more efficient revision process in the future. Furthermore, it should perfect the CNBV’s capacity to oversee those that get its stamp of approval… even if it has less money to do so.

Moreover, fingers-crossed, its potential role in Banco Famsa’s bankruptcy will serve as a wakeup call to be more watchful.

I know, I know… it’s a lot of wishful thinking. 

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