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Corporate bank account opening in Panama

A corporate bank account can be opened in Panama by local companies and by foreign companies as well. Panama has been removed from the FATF list which includes high-risk countries in terms of financial security. International banks in Panama have no requirement for clients to travel to the country for a meeting with bank specialist in order to begin the procedure of opening a bank account. The country committed to implementing the OECD reporting standard on the AEOI controlling the automatic exchange of information.

Panama banking sector overview

Panama’s banking sector to foreign competition has been opened since in 1970 by placing high priority on banker-depositor confidentiality. Over 90 banks were registered in Panama in early 2013 with total assets close to $90 billion. Overall, the banking legislation establishes three types or categories of operations:

In general, foreign and Panamanian banks are competing on equal terms. Banking institutions are organized as a Panamanian Banking Association and regulated as well as licensed by the Banking Supervisory Authority. There is no deposit insurance scheme available in panama’s banking system.

Top 3 banks of Panama

Country’s banking system is well developed while also becoming an important international banking hub for years with 70 banks operating in the Bank Center. To most popular, trusted and reliable of them are National Bank of Panama, HSBC Bank Panama, Banistmo or Banco Del Istmo.

  1. The National Bank of Panama is one of the government-owned banks, holding deposits of about 5 billion US dollars.
  2. HSBC Bank is a subsidiary of HSBC Holdings plc which headquarters in Panama City by providing corporate banking, personal banking and treasury services to the country.
  3. Banco Del Istmo is the biggest bank in Panama and Central America acquired by HSBC Holdings plc by being a part of the HSBC Group. Before its Grupo Banistmo’s acquisition by HSBC – a former parent company, it was the subsidiary of HSBC Bank (Panama) S.A. and after that it merged into HSBC Bank.

Required documents

In general there are some required documents in order to open a corporate bank account in Panama such as personal information and corporate references from all of the individuals who are signatories on the account. However, there must be some of the additional requirements met in order to begin the process of opening a bank deposit account:

***Employment Letter or Income Tax Return if self-employed.

Time frames

Usually it takes 2 weeks to approve and open bank account in Panama or may be a little it less by the bank’s compliance department. However this procedure may take additional time to process and additional documents might be requested as well. Therefore, the bank may collect all of the necessary information for the client to be able to access his or her account from internet banking or home banking. A debit or a credit card also can be issued upon client’s request.

Privacy policy

In general, Panama Banks provide such private and corporate banking products as multiple currencies, checking and saving accounts, internet and telephone banking, wealth management services, debit and credit cards, fixed term deposits. All these services are provided by maintaining privacy policy which is a constitutional guarantee in panama. Country’s privacy laws are backed by several constitutional articles which guarantees high confidentiality not only for its citizens, but for foreigners as well.

There are several Panama Privacy Constitution Articles describing privacy policy in Panama. For example, Article 44 is protecting private ownership of real property and private investments as long as they are legally acquired by a legal entity or natural person. Panama has special Privacy Codes, Privacy Conventions and Panama Privacy Laws (Law 6;11;13;26 and 51) as well. For example, the Panama Judicial Code states that personal data can only be revealed to the interested party and restricts providing the same information to outside person.