Rumors of BANKRUPTCY at Banco Azteca cause PANIC; customers withdraw their savings

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A fake news campaign at the end of 2023 caused Banco Azteca a 6 percent drop in customer deposits.

At the end of 2023, a fake news campaign about the alleged bankruptcy of Banco Azteca caused panic among customers, leading them to withdraw their money and causing a 6 percent drop in deposits, said Alejandro Valenzuela, chairman of the bank’s board of directors.

During November of last year, social media posts began to emerge about a bank broken by the supposed financial problems at Grupo Salinas, owner of Banco Azteca; however, Valenzuela assured that it was a baseless discourse initiated by people outside the bank, inciting what is called a “bank run.”

What happened to Banco Azteca due to its bankruptcy rumors?

When there are rumors of a bank’s bankruptcy, customers usually fear losing all their savings; this generated a “not minor” problem for the group of money outflow amid speculations.

“Rumors began to spread that the bank was in bad shape and could go bankrupt, which caused unnecessary and malicious nervousness, leading a significant number of our customers to opt to withdraw their deposits thinking this was true. What is regrettable is that through the networks, in a totally unfounded way with fake news, they were carried away by something very delicate and it put us in a position of great unease,” said the executive in an interview for TELEDIARIO.

What did Banco Azteca do about the bankruptcy rumors?

Valenzuela del Río explained that, faced with the outflow of resources from the bank, the first step they took was to stabilize the deposits, reassure customers about the financial situation of the bank, and subsequently, both Banco Azteca and Grupo Salinas launched a campaign to identify those responsible.

Thus, Banco Azteca threatened to file lawsuits against the alleged perpetrators of the defamation. Currently, investigations are ongoing, and they hope to have results against the “malefactors” who incited the withdrawal of money from the bank.

“At the moment these alarms started to spread on social networks until the beginning of January, about 6 percent of the deposits left the bank, so it is not a minor issue. We were already acting accordingly, talking to customers, assuring them that the bank was perfectly fine, that the rumors were absolutely false, and the results proved it.” The executive assured that customers realized that the bank operates normally, so in the first three months of the year, they have already managed to recover 60 percent of the deposits lost due to the impact.

Banco Azteca accuses lack of support from authorities after bankruptcy rumors

According to Valenzuela, both the National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV), the Bank of Mexico (Banxico), and the Ministry of Finance, in charge of regulating the financial system in the country, did not act or inform customers about the reality of Banco Azteca, which reflects a suspicious attitude on the part of the authority on an issue that could have affected the entire Mexican financial system.

In fact, it was not until December 2023 that the governor of Banxico, Victoria Rodríguez Ceja, assured during a Financial Stability Report that the financial situation of Banco Azteca is “stable” and that it maintains optimal capitalization and liquidity ratios.

“The regulator’s actions are shameful because if anyone has up-to-date figures on what we are doing and how we are doing it practically by the hour, it’s them. And it wasn’t until January that they came out to say, by the way, Banco Azteca is fine. They waited over two months to be able to say this, which is truly unheard of. I would like this to be thoroughly investigated because what was done was really irresponsible,” highlighted Valenzuela del Río.

Data from the CNBV show that Banco Azteca has a capitalization index, meaning the financial strength of an institution to withstand unexpected losses, at 15.57 percent, well above the minimum 10.5 percent required of banks.

Source: Telediario