Sunday, November 12, 2006

Opening your bank account in Panama


Vista de la Ciudad de PanamáForeigners are subject to "Know-Your-Customer" (KYC) requirements when opening an account with a bank in Panama. Subject to changes according to internal procedures of each bank, applicants must appear in the person at the bank for a personal interview and provide :

1) 2 Letters of Reference from 2 other banking institutions, authenticated with Apostille or by Panama Consul, addressed to the bank in Panama,

2) Copy of the passport and another picture identification (providing the original documents for verification)

3) Tax return or other document which will help the bank identify the income range of the applicant and compare it with the movement of account.

The Panama Superintendent of Banks has a website where all institutions licensed to provide banking services are listed. Institutions which do not appear in this listing act in violation of local laws and depositors risk losing their deposits.

In addition, Panama banks owned by investors holding publicly-traded shares, disclose their financial statements and relevant events to the Panama Stock Exchange

, which helps to gauge their financial solvency.

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