The Financial Sector
Land, mines, foundries, and mills remained in Chilean-domiciled hands. All these activities had existed, if on a smaller scale, in colonial times, so the Chilean accomplishment was one of protecting an established position rather than of creating a new one. However, they were almost as successful in gaining control of the financial sector that came rapidly into existence during and after the 1880s. The large financial role circumstances forced on them in Chile was not duplicated at home. So by 1886, Chile’s financial sector was well established. It was not a “made-in Chile” operation, despite Chilean ownership of banks and the existence of Chilean-owned insurance companies. Chile’s mineowners and landowners certainly achieved considerable profits—as well as periodic losses—during the 35 years between 1851 and 1886. Even after Chile’s own insurance industry was solidly established, foreign companies came in increasing numbers and their competition must have taken business from the domestic companies.