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Republic of Panama

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     Panama Bank Account   

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Panama Banks, Financial Instruments, Rates and Fees.
 

Panama Banks are among the most stable banks in the world. Panama is the second largest international banking center iwith the best bank secrecy laws available in the world today. There are over 300 international banks in Panama.

Interest Rates:

The banks in Panama offer very attractive interest rates. Rates on checking and savings accounts depend on the LIBOR (London InterBank Offering Rate) and may change without notice. They may vary being the subject to minimum deposits and/or minimum balance requirements and/or certain terms for CDs.

 

Online Banking:

Internet access to your corporate and personal Panama bank account is offered by most Panama banks who use the most up to date online security technologies. So your banking information is 100% secure and confidential. Panama banks offer online banking for account viewing / downloading statements, transfers between accounts, international wire transfers, payment of credit card balances, as well as payment of local utility bills.

 

Credit Cards:

Most Panama banks offer secured credit cards (Visa or MasterCard). Secured credit cards require that the client place a security deposit as collateral for the credit line in an amount equal to 125% of the credit limit chosen for their credit card. The security deposit is frozen in the corporate Panama bank account (savings account or CD / time deposit) until the credit card is closed. The funds held as collateral will still earn interest while in the security deposit. As the credit card is used, the Panama bank will automatically debit the entire monthly balance of the credit card charges from the remaining balance in the corporate Panama bank account at the end of the monthly credit card billing cycle. Therefore, the client must maintain enough funds in the bank account to pay for the monthly credit card charges.
Annual fees for credit cards start at US$50 or more according to the type of credit card chosen. Silver, Gold, Platinum. Airline miles credit cards are also available for earning airline flight miles for credit card usage. American Express is available through certain Panama banks.

 

Debit Cards:

 Panama banks offer Debit cards are for corporate bank accounts. Debit cards can be used at any point of sale or ATM that accepts debit cards (accepted world-wide). The Panama banks annual fees for debit cards are from US$20. There are transaction fees of 40 cents for local ATM cash withdrawals, and there may be slightly higher fees associated with point of sale transactions, or ATM cash withdrawals at ATMs outside of Panama, depending on the merchant you purchase from, what country you are in, or what bank or ATM you withdraw cash from.

 

Time Deposits (CD) :

Most banks in Panama offer time deposits (certificates of deposits, or CD). Panama banks rates vary according to their banking regulations, business practices, and etc. Under Panamanian law, the minimum amount for time deposit at a Panamanian bank is US$10,000.
Rates on checking and savings accounts may change without notice, vary depending on the LIBOR (London InterBank Offering Rate), be subject to minimum deposits and/or minimum balance requirements and/or certain terms for CD.

 

Panama Savings Accounts:

Panamanian banks offer Corporate Panama Savings Accounts. Interest rates vary depending on the deposited amount and time terms.

 

Panama Checking Accounts:

 

International Checking: Panama banks don't offer International Checking today.

 

Local Checking: This account is useful for those who wish to operate an actual business within Panama, and need an account for making USD payments to any local person or business in Panama. The checks from this account are only valid for deposit or compensation locally within the Republic of Panama. For example, one of Panama banks has the following terms:

  • Minimum Initial Deposit: US$1,000.

  • Interest Rate: No interest is paid on this account.

  • Minimum Balance Requirement: US$500.

  • Monthly fee if balance falls below US$500: US$10.

  • Account statements may be sent by email or post mail.

  • Certified Local Check Fee: US$5.

  • Certified International Check: US$10.

Miscellaneous Fees (In USD):

  • Certified Local Check Fee: $5.00

  • Wire Transfer In Fee: From $20 (depends on amount)

  • Wire Transfer Out Fees: $50 to $100 (depends on amount)

Fees are subject to change without prior notice. Acceptable deposits are USD cash, USD Checks (personal or bank certified checks), or wire transfers. Unacceptable deposits are money orders, travelers checks, double endorsed checks, foreign items/thrift withdrawal orders, returned checks, and checks referring to more than one account number.

  In case you don't speak Spanish we provide services of our English - Spanish Interpreter.


Documentation Requirements for Panama Corporation Bank Account

The following documentation is required by the Panama bank for set up of Corporate Panama Bank Accounts:

1. Photocopy of passport for every signatory. The photocopy of passport must include photo of the person, personal details (passport number, etc.), signature, and photocopies of ALL pages including entry/exit stamped pages. The photocopy should be clear and legible and it should be NOTARIZED.

2. Two Financial Reference Letters. The financial reference letter can be from any bank, brokerage firm or credit union. The letter should be an original on the financial institutions letterhead. It should be addressed to the bank you are planning to process the bank account at, and should include the signature of an official, and the contact information (address, telephone, fax, email, etc.). There is no specific format of the reference letter.

3. One Commercial or Professional Reference Letter. The commercial or professional reference letter can be from any company or professional that you have a commercial business, or professional relationship with. The letter should be an original on the company or professionals letterhead, and should include the signature of the representative of the company or professional, and contact information (address, telephone, fax, email, etc.). There is no specific format of the reference letter.

4. Company Profile Letter. The company profile letter should be on your company letterhead, signed by the signatory(s) on the account, with complete contact information. The letter should explain in detail the nature of business activities, the products or services the company is selling, the regions where the company is conducting business, the purpose of the account, and a brief description of the estimated monthly banking activity anticipated for the account.

5. Proof of Address. The Panama bank requires that you provide a photocopy of a recent utility bill (such as an electric power bill, water bill, cable TV bill, internet service bill, phone bill, and etc.) showing your personal name and physical address (P.O. Box is not accepted).

6. Signed Account Applications. Each signatory on the account must sign the original bank account applications. As the account signatory, you will have the power to execute all types of banking functions with your corporate Panama bank account. All Panamanian banks require an interview face to face with the client. In other words, the signatory must come to Panama for a personal interview with the bankers, and sign all the required account applications.

Documentation requirements are subject to change by the banks without notice.

Since January 2013 banks of Panama may request initial deposit for the opening of bank account in the amount of USD 2,000 to USD 5,000

The Law of the Republic of Panama requires all documentation being performed in Spanish.
We provide translation of all documents into Spanish.
 

For examples and translation of the above mentioned documents, please contact us.


Documentation Requirements for Panama Personal Bank Account

1. Photocopy of your Passport that should include all pages with your photo, personal details, signature, exit stamps and recent entries. The photocopy should be clear and legible and it should be NOTARIZED.

2. Second ID is also needed. You will have to submit a photocopy of the second ID 

3. Two financial reference letters. This letter is to be made by the companies who have dealt with you in the past, with their official letterhead. It should have the clear contact details and be made out in the name of the bank where you are applying to open a bank account. An official of the company needs to sign this letter

4. Two professional or commercial reference letters, that can be from lawyers, financial consultants on the respective organization's official letterhead with all necessary contact information. If the references are from the people of Panama, it will give more weight to your application.

5. Photocopy of your income tax returns for the last 2 years.

6. Signed account applications.

7.  Statement showing your pension status or letter from employer


How to apply?

There may be some changes in the procedure for opening a bank account in Panama, as the process may be different in some banks.

1. In case you don't speak Spanish, then make an appointment with help of our English interpreter.

2. There is a minimum deposit amount that is required at the time of opening a bank account. It can vary from bank to bank. Until you bank account is opened, the bank will hold this amount.

3. You may deposit money via cash or bank wire transfer. 

4. After receipt of funds, within 7-10 working days, the account should be available.

5. You can request at the time of opening a bank account if you want the bank to provide online banking, checkbooks and an ATM card. Banks also give you the option of online bill pay.

Note: Panama Banks require physical presence of the Account Signatories in Panama.


 


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