Panama allows foreigners to open bank accounts, but they must provide more documentation for due diligence compared to European or North American banks.
- A duplicate of your visa photograph and data page and Panama immigration section stamp page, and a second ID, for example, a drivers permit;
- A couple of bank reference letters, as well as evidence of pay, for example, your most recent couple of years tax returns, financial statements, or letter from your boss;
- A reference letter from an expert (legal counselor, accountant, and so forth.); and proof of address, such as a utility bill that shows where you live.
All documents must be recently dated (usually within three months).
Various banks might require more information, for example, the wellspring of assets you mean to store. There are distinct application forms for each bank.
- Assuming you are living in Panama on a migration visa, you should give duplicates of the immigration visa and immigration identity card.
- In the event that a business account is being opened, most banks will require duplicates of your personal expense forms from the past two years for the company opening the account.
- It is necessary to translate all documents to Spanish.
In addition to time deposits (CDs), ATMs, debit and credit cards, and savings and checking accounts, every Panamanian bank offers full online banking. To obtain a credit card, Panamanian banks will require a deposit equal to 125% of the monthly maximum credit limit. Before getting the credit card, you will need to put down $1,250 if you want a monthly credit limit of $1,000. Each bank’s credit card rates and fees are different, so it is recommended to do some research to find the lowest ones. The Clave (Latin America) or Plus (worldwide) logo systems can be used to obtain ATM cards that can be used at the numerous ATMs in the country.
Even though banks in Panama use state-of-the-art facilities, the same banks’ branches in the country may not offer the same services or modern facilities as their city counterparts.
In Panama, there are approximately 100 banks, including investment banks, private banks, local banks, and global banks. The government owns two banks that provide the same services as the other banks and are well-liked by locals. However, foreigners may find it challenging to open accounts at these banks.
Most banks are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 3 pm and on Saturday 8:30 am to Early afternoon or 1 pm.
NOTE: US citizens and residents are required by law to report all of their global bank accounts. All US bank accounts are automatically reported to the US government by Panamanian banks.
Bank Introduction Service
A great number of law firms in Panama offer their bank introduction services, in which they provide a professional reference and have special relationships with particular banks to make the application process easier.
The majority of Panamanian banks require a minimum deposit of $100 to $1,000. You can use cash, local checks, or bank wires to make deposits once the account is opened.