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When Madrid lender Bankia’s US$27 billion bailout by the Spanish government prompted it to shed assets abroad, Chile’s third-largest private bank, the ambitious, family-run Banco de Crédito e Inversiones spied a golden opportunity to become the first Chilean bank to buy a US counterpart. Lulu Rumsey learns how BCI spent two-and-a-half years convincing the Federal Reserve to accept its takeover of City National Bank of Florida, an epic task that involved splitting the bank’s hugely profitable parent company in half to appease US financial regulators

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