Information You Need When Opening a Bank Account

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As one of Latin America’s fastest developing economies, Panama offers perfect conditions for any global investor. According to the IMF reports, Panama’s convergence ratio is the highest in Latin America, so investor confidence rises. Panama banking is among the country’s largest sectors, with more businesses moving operations there. You will need a bank account, and luckily, even non-residents can open one.

Here is some insight into the information you need when opening a bank account in Panama.

Evaluate Account Options

You can open various account options in Panama, depending on your need. The most common ones are personal and corporate accounts that serve individuals and businesses. You can also choose between checking or savings accounts and decide which one best suits your needs.

The difference in accounts reflects the interest, charges, and service benefits they are attached to. As a non-resident, you need to know whether you can transact using the account online.

Online operations will make it easier to operate normally when you leave the country.

You also have to check the account fees and interest rates to ensure your deposits remain secure. Make sure the bank charges are reasonable and compare them throughout the market. The interest rate should also match the current market rate to pay a decent amount on your savings.

Apart from a direct interest in the account, you need to know the bank’s other financial services. For example, if you anticipate future interest in services like mortgage financing or personal investing, ensure you open an account that offers you access to said services.

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Familiarize yourself With All Bank Requirements

All banks have legal requirements that each customer has to adhere to, so you should familiarize yourself with them as much as possible. The requirements are set within the banking industry and seek to protect consumers against exploitation. Such provisions also act as the laws for operation between the business and clients.

Familiarizing yourself with all bank’s requirements helps you confirm eligibility. You also know about minimum balances and the amount of deposit you require after opening the account.

Have All the Documentation Ready

All banks need proof of identification when opening an account. The banks will require physical presence even for foreign residents when opening the account. If you wish to open the account but cannot make it physically, you can use a certified lawyer or agent to do it for you.

Some documentation you need to open a Panama bank account includes;

  • Two national identification documents – The most commonly used ID cards are passports and driver’s licenses. Both documents must have matching details and be from the same country to be accepted.
  • Source or proof of income – You can present an income tax declaration or a work contract.
  • Bank reference from your current home country bank. The reference is a statement indicating that you are in good standing with them.
  • Some banks may also require personal recommendations from someone in Panama. You can have a trusted friend, family, or attorney draft it up.
  • You may also need to present a utility bill (This is specific to certain banks, so confirm with them first.) The utility bill often acts as proof of residential address.
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Note: All documents must be up-to-date – usually dated within three months.

Having proper documentation makes account opening easier and approvals faster. You will have a bank clerk guide you through the steps, often in English.

Prepare To Make a Deposit

Most banks will require a minimum deposit to complete the successful opening of your account. You should be ready to deposit some amount of money into the bank account. The deposit amount varies with the type of account you open and the host bank.

Work With Panama Banking Experts

Opening a bank account in Panama requires you to have all the right information to make the correct choices. As a fully dollarized economy, Panama is sparking interest in many investors who look to diversify. When opening a bank account offshore, you need a Panama banking expert to guide you through the whole process.

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