Azteca is finding it increasingly difficult to get those dollars from bulk shipments back to the United States. For now, US banks fear facing heavy fines from regulators even though Azteca has put in place a sophisticated system to prove that those dollars are coming from legitimate business in its stores and bank branches, he said.
“We face many difficulties in exporting dollars. Every day it gets more and more complicated,” Valenzuela said in a March 24 phone interview. “What do you do with the dollars that arrive in Mexico and cannot be returned? It is absurd that the dollars cannot be returned, and the Mexican regulator did not want to take this problem to the United States to find a solution.”
Mexico’s central bank did not respond to a request for comment.
Early last year, the central bank promised that it would help Mexican financial institutions that, amid money laundering fears, were unable to find US banks to withdraw their huge dollar cash reserves.
Over the past decade, US banks have become increasingly wary of handling massive cash shipments from Mexico in the wake of money-laundering fines imposed on HSBC Holdings Plc and Wells Fargo & Co.
Valenzuela said the United States, Mexico and Canada need to work on solutions for Mexican banks to comply with regulations and prove the legitimate source of the dollars they want to return.
He concluded by saying, “What we want to build with the American authority and the Mexican authority is under the rules that these resources can flow to the United States.”