of March 31, 2004, BBVA Banco Francés was the first
largest private bank in Argentina in terms of deposits, according
to statistics published by the Central Bank of Argentina (Information
of Financial Institutions). As of the same date, we had, on
consolidated basis, Ps.8.1 billion in deposits, Ps.13.6 billion
in total assets and Ps.7.4 billion in net total loans.
The Bank is based in Buenos Aires and operates a banking network
of 231 retail branches throughout Argentina and 27 branches
specialized in middle market, plus 38 Credilogros offices,
a financial subsidiary servicing low income individuals. Furthermore,
the Bank conducts capital markets and securities operations
directly, in the over-the-counter market, and through a subsidiary,
in the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange.
In December 1996, Banco Bilbao
Vizcaya S.A. (currently Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, "BBVA")
acquired 99.90% of the capital stock of Otar S.R.L., majority
shareholder of Sud América Inversiones S.A., which
in turn owned 30.04% of the capital stock of Banco Francés.
By the end of the first quarter of fiscal year 2004 BBVA owned
79.5% of the Bank’capital stock.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria
Our major shareholder: BBVA, an international Group
The international presence of BBVA now dates back a century.
In 1902, Banco de Bilbao opened a branch in Paris and, in
1918, another in London. In this respect, the group was several
decades ahead of the remainder of Spanish banks.
In the 70's, Banco de Bilbao, Banco de
Vizcaya and Banco Exterior progressed to become international
groups, with the incorporation of operational and representative
offices in the main financial centres of Europe, Latin America
and Asia. At the same time, the first local banks are established
in these geographical areas, principally in Latin America.
Banco Exterior founded BEX Panama in
1968, constituting the current BBVA Panama with the integration
in 2000 of BBV Panama.
In 1979 Banco de Vizcaya acquired Banco
Comercial de Mayagüez in Puerto Rico, founded in 1967
by a group and traders and industrialists. It became BBV Puerto
Rico and, in 1992, a period of growth began through acquisitions,
resulting in the current BBVA Puerto Rico.
But it is from 1995 onwards that BBV
developed an international strategy for international expansion
that led it to build a great franchise in Latin America, making
a significant investment in capital, technology and human
In 1995 the institution expanded into
Peru, with the privatisation of Banco Continental, and into
Mexico, with Probursa.
The roots of Banco Continental, known
as "your friendly bank", date back to 1951. The
Bank combines dedication to the customer with its concern
for culture. In 1970 it was incorporated into Banca Asociada,
with the participation of the State in the share ownership.
In 1996, BBV expanded its presence in
Colombia with Banco Ganadero and in Argentina with Banco Francés.
Banco Ganadero was founded in 1956 with
the backing of a group of cattle breeders in that region.
Their aim was to promote agriculture. In 1959, Law 26 transformed
the bank into a mixed economy company, with the Government,
individuals and farmers as the shareholders.
Banco Frances (from Rio de La Plata)
was founded in Buenos Aires in 1886. For almost a century
it provided banking services to large companies in Argentina.
During the 80's, it expanded a network of branches throughout
the country that enabled it to broaden its client base to
include small and medium sized enterprises and individuals.
In 1997, BBV moved into Venezuela via
Banco Provincial, founded in 1953. Initially, Banco Provincial
focused its activities on the capital and central regions.
Nowadays this financial institution is one of the most important
and solid in Venezuela, with a leadership position that it
has held since 1983.
In 1998, the Group commenced operations
in Chile, with Banco BHF. The origins of the Banco BHIF date
back to the year 1883 which saw the creation of the Banco
Hipotecario in Valparaíso. In 1976 a process of expansion
was initiated, propelled by the three industrial groups that
controlled it, and the head quarters were transferred to Santiago.
In 1989 it merged with the Banco Nacional under the name of
In the year 2000 Mexico was the site
of a merger between BBV Probursa and Bancomer to create BBVA
Bancomer, the premier bank in that country. Bancomer was founded
in 1932 in Mexico City, under the name of Banco de Comercio.
In 1977 the entities of the Commercial Banking System were
consolidated into one: Bancomer. Nationalised in 1982, along
with other banks in Mexico, the majority of its shares were
acquired in 1991 by a group of Mexican investors.
Year 2001 saw the completion of
the implementation of the unified platform for all businesses
and all countries, and the BBVA brand was consolidated in
Group entities in Latin America.