Mexican President Pushing Return to Private Banking

<i> Associated Press</i>

President Carlos Salinas de Gortari sent a proposal to Congress today to modify the Constitution and re-establish a private banking system in Mexico, the government announced.

Former President Jose Lopez Portillo nationalized the country’s 35 private banks shortly before leaving office in 1982, claiming that bankers had helped Mexicans take money out of the country, worsening an economic recession.

“Once again there would be mixed banking, private banks and public banks,” said Leonardo French, a presidential spokesman.

The bill would allow 100% private ownership of commercial banks.


“We cannot allow a state as owner, with so many resources invested in banking, in a country with so many urgent social needs,” the government said.

A constitutional change must be approved by two-thirds of the 500-member Congress.

Mexico’s 1917 Constitution had decreed a mixed banking system.