Dozens of foreign expatriates in San Miguel invested their money with Grupo Financiero Monex, a Mexican company that offered financial and banking services in San Miguel de Allende until 2015, when it closed its offices in the city. However, it continued to do so from the corporate office in Querétaro, until December 2018, when San Miguel customers realized that their accounts were empty, as some of them indicated for Atención San Miguel. Due to this, we approached Monex and also some of the clients who would have lost their investments. Next, we present their stories.
The Monex Financial Group website establishes that they are a 100 percent Mexican company that offers high quality financial products and reliable services to clients in Mexico and abroad. “With more than 32 years of presence in the country, Monex is an innovative institution, made up of three financial entities: Banco Monex, Monex Casa de Bolsa and Mónex. Operator of funds through which it offers products for business banking “and also for private banking.”
The offices in San Miguel-closed in 2015, were located next to the Ángela Peralta Theater on Calle Mesones. It was a very popular business among its customers mainly for its service, which in some cases was given at home.
Customers affected by the losses of their investments realized what was happening by comments from other people also affected. One of the clients told Atención that as soon as he knew he filed a lawsuit against Monex and who was responsible for the lack of money in his account. The customer told Atención that he believes that the promoter of the company in San Miguel would have helped-along with other accomplices-to make the money disappear. He said he is doing his own research and that he is very close to having a result.
The names of the affected customers (who requested anonymity) are not real.
In a house in the Historical Center, I met Emily Winterle, who visited the city in 1970 and later moved. Had in mutual funds with the company for more than 400 thousand dollars; he had two more accounts in other banks where electronic transfers were made when he requested it.
“The developer always told me that half of my investment was in Volaris and Walmart-Emily, you do not have to worry about anything, you’re making a lot of money-don’t worry, the promoter told the now affected. “I was confident that I was making money. But in the end it turned out that no, my money was never invested and I had no returns. ” Whenever you asked the representative in San Miguel for account statements, or cash these were sent to Winterle with a delivery boy (on a motorcycle). In December of 2018, when he needed money for medicines, services, and other expenses, he asked the promoter for cash, however, there was never a response, and then he realized that there was a shortage of close to ten thousand dollars in his savings. Now work with Monex so that they can return your money.
In 2012, a couple invested all their savings in Monex under the promise of receiving 10 percent interest. The first 18 months received account statements, then they were only sent via e-mail when they were required to the promoter; the transfers were made to another bank, also requested via mail.
After they realized-through comments from friends and acquaintances-that several accounts had been emptied, the couple attended several meetings in Queretaro. There a lawyer the bank allegedly told them that their money had been illegally removed months after they had deposited it. Michael Stewart, the husband, believes that “that means that the account statements that the promoter sent us were actually made by her to cover the fraud, and not the bank.”
After several meetings in Querétaro, San Miguel, and Mexico City, and facing the language barriers, because the representatives of Monex do not speak English, Stewart said he got his check after signing several documents of which, neither has a copy nor Photographs.
Now, after the money was returned to him, he received a call from a certain “Alfredo,” an alleged Monex lawyer, to tell him that the bank has found new evidence from the developer, and now he owes the company more than 50 thousand dollars. However, he has not called again. “My acquaintances told me it was unusual for these claims to be made over the phone.”
Reimbursement at 2012 price
Another couple, from the United States-Mathew and Anna-received an inheritance, and decided to invest about 50 thousand dollars in Monex. “The dollar was twelve pesos then.” Investors received their account statements and seemed to be doing well.
“In January we learned from a friend, that Monex’s accounts were empty, we immediately called and, effectively, there was less than a thousand pesos in our account.” After several meetings, Monex agreed to give them their money, but paying the dollar at 12 pesos (2012 rate) and without interest. In the end the couple agreed to receive the amount.
“We blame not only the representative in San Miguel, but the entire company, it is impossible that the departments have not realized what was happening and do not have records. They should be friendlier, and pay the right amounts to keep their reputation if they do not want to commit fraud, “they said.
The response of Monex
Atención contacted Grupo Financiero Monex, however it was their Public Relations representative-Fernando García-who said he could not give more information because the internal comptroller of the company is conducting an investigation. He also assured that each specific case will be reviewed. Garcia sent us a response to a press release, where Monex identifies Marcela Zavala Taylor as the promoter to which clients hold responsibility for the management of their accounts where they lost money. The press release reads as follows: “Grupo Financiero Monex Informa:
Before the indications against the Promoter Marcela Zavala Taylor, about alleged irregular movements in accounts that she attended in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, the Comptroller of this Financial Institution conducts the corresponding investigations to determine responsibilities.
Legal action is ongoing on the case, so that details can not be disclosed so as not to hinder the investigation. We have made significant progress with Clients who have made a written clarification and the situation with each of them is being addressed. Any unusual activity will be reported and requested to be investigated and, where appropriate, punished by the corresponding Authorities, at the time that all the security guarantees for our Clients are provided.
Grupo Financiero Monex reiterates that all its companies and operations comply with the law and are supervised by the competent authorities, both nationally and internationally.
Who protects the investor?
Bank staff Banregio said for this medium that when a person places their savings in a banking institution registered with the authorities, is protected by financial laws, including the Law of Credit Institutions.
They also indicated that when people place their money in a bank, it is protected by the IPAB (Institute for the Protection of Bank Savings). According to the Investment Law, from the moment a person opens an account, it is insured by the bank.
On the other hand, the IPAB on its website indicates that bank savings: time deposits, savings accounts, checking accounts, payroll accounts, checking accounts, among others, are protected up to 400 thousand UDIS (2,508,467.20 pesos) .
Attention tried to locate the representative of Monex, Marcela Zavala Taylor but it was impossible, in addition to customers who report that it has not been able to locate since December 2018.
On the other hand, we spoke with a former Monex collaborator, who thought that Monex would negotiate because that is what the company does, besides that the Law, the Condusef and the IPAB protect the investor. And he said: “If there was an embezzlement, it could be linked to the trust that the clients deposited in the representative; but also Monex must know the type of personnel he hires. “