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MX23_FI_BASE_julio

MEXICO - Finance

Julio Escandón

Managing Director, Grupo Financiero Base

Bio

Julio Escandón has been Managing Director of Grupo Financiero BASE since 2019. From 2007-2019, he was CFO of Grupo Financiero BASE. He studied economics at Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and holds a master’s degree in economics at Cambridge University. He attended the Chief Executive Officer management program at Northwestern University – Kellogg School of Management and the CFOs Executive program at University of Chicago – Booth School of Business.

Specialists in FX and international payments, BASE is a Mexican financial group with 36 years of experience in helping international companies with operations in Mexico through expert advice and competitive […]
Specialists in FX and international payments, BASE is a Mexican financial group with 36 years of experience in helping international companies with operations in Mexico through expert advice and competitive solutions.
What economic advantages does Mexico offer over other countries?

Mexico is definitely growing, with a 2% estimated increase in GDP in 2022. However, there are some industries growing at a faster rate, such as the export sector, at about 18%. For us, that would be a great opportunity because we are in that sector, and we work closely with such firms. Overall, Mexico offers great opportunities because of its political and economic stability, when compared to other emerging markets around the world. Moreover, the country has an advantage over other Latin American economies and the rest of the world because we are neighbors with the biggest consumers in the world: North America. This unique geopolitical situation allows Mexico to continue to take advantage of all the investments at a global level.

What projects is Banco Base developing in nearshoring, and what solutions does the bank offer companies wanting to enter the market?

Banco Base was born in the 1980s as a foreign exchange (FX) transmitter in Monterrey. Our specialty then was FX trading, as well as sending and receiving money for other firms. In 2011, we transformed into a bank because we realized our clients needed more products and services to enhance their performance and so we started with loans, deposits, and leasing. Many clients in Mexico need leasing because of tax issues, whereby companies can deduct these payments for re-leasing. We started to grow our offerings to those clients, focusing on those that need to handle FX internationally. For example, we can send money overseas in seconds, compared to traditional banks that take two to three days and charge a commission. We have been doing this for more than 36 years and have partners such as the Bank of New York and other major financial institutions in the US, Europe, and Asia. It is extremely important for us to remain agile and transparent so our clients can have full visibility over where their money is at any moment. In addition, if, for example, a corporation in Mexico needs to send money overseas urgently, but does not have the funds that day, we can remit the amount in advance, and the company can repay us later; such services are highly appreciated because we understand the needs of companies. BASE can also do the reverse and collect payments for Mexican companies from their clients in the US, for example. Our value proposition is to provide the fastest transactional service and competitive offerings to solve your needs.

What investments is the bank making with regards to digital transformation?

We realized that fintech and many other companies are working on such transactions, and in the last five years we have invested in some spin-offs. We are investing in digital banking, so that we can not only provide the human side of the service, but also a hybrid digital service where customers can just go to our Base net and send money wherever they want. We invested MXN10 million on this project in 2021 and will invest more this year and the next. Digitalization is not just a trend or keeping up with the competition; it is about customers’ needs and making financial transactions as easy as possible for them. We do not have millions of clients, but about 30,000 clients around the world, and we do not want to lose our strong solidarity with them. We closed 2021 with a return on equity of around 20%. This year will almost be the same, including all our planned investments. In 2023, we expect similar results, with a greater market share and more clients. I am proud of our results, though I am prouder of our culture and people, what we stand for, and what we do every day. Many operations depend on us, and we work directly with major corporations from China, South Korea, the US, Germany, Italy, and many other countries that are interested in investing in Mexico.

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