Panama is known internationally as the best financial services center in Latin America. It is known for its sophisticated and well developed banking system, which has made it one of the most important banking hubs for offshore services today.
Most modern banking jurisdictions are super strict, and are governed by stringent laws to ensure the safety and liquidity of for depositors. While these regulations may vary from one jurisdiction to the next, they are all stringent enough to ascertain that everyone is adequately protected.
Panama is one of those countries with the most stringent rules when it comes to banking. The Superintendence of Banks exists to ensure that these stringent accounting practices are regulated and enforced for safer services. Therefore, obtaining a banking license in Panama is quite a task.
Offshore Banking in Panama
Offshore banking is usually held in a jurisdiction different from the one a person resides. These jurisdictions are mostly known for their legislation which favors tax free services. Such services include, but are not limited to the following.
Banking structure diversification
Major Banking Services Providers in Panama
Opening a bank account in Panama is quite a long story, and requires loads of documentation, and can take as much as 10 days to complete the process. While most banks do allow non-residents to access their services, the process is long and tedious; it can take up to several months. Some of the major banking services providers include the following.
Balboa Bank & Trust
This is one of the major financial services providers in Panama which accepts offshore banking. Its services span from personal, corporate and private banking, which are backed up by solid financial structure and a team of committed professionals. While Balboa Bank has hit a few rough patches, it is still one of the financial institutions that are known for their strict efficiency and privacy policies.
Banesco Bank, which is a part of the Banesco Holdings, is known in Panama for its top notch services, and as of 2008, it was the country’s largest bank. It offers regular financial services such as personal accounts, mortgages and asset financing loans, fixed term deposits as well as direct payments and credit services. In addition to personal services, the bank also offers corporate services to SMEs and corporations alike such as commercial loans and checking accounts.
Established in 1955, Banco General is Panama’s second largest bank, offering an array of financial services and products. These include private, business and personal banking and trust services including online banking! Apart from banking services such as deposits and loans, the bank also offers insurance, bill payments and pension funds management services.
Banco Latinoamericano de Exportaciones (simply referred to as BLADEX) is a national bank that was established in the Latin American market in 1979 to promote trade in the ea. With its headquarters in Panama, it operates in 23 countries today. It offers an array of services which include sort and long term financial services loans, commercial credits and personal banking services to both local and foreign clients.
Caja De Ahorros
The Savings Bank is a banking institution in Panama with the largest number of savings aounts in the country. It is counted as one of the financial institutions that offer savings services alongside credit unions. Fondly referred to as the Panamian Family Bank, Caja De Ahorros is dedicated to economic and social development of the country by encouraging a savings and investments culture. Apart from savings accounts, the bank also offers other services such as loans, asset finance services, and credit cards.
Most of Panama banks support offshore financial services, albeit with stringent rules. You can benefit from any of the services from simple savings accounts to major fixed deposits and overdraft services.
Quick Precautions When Banking In Panama
Panama is known for its favorable tax regulations, which make it very attractive to foreign clients. However, the banking industry in Panama is extremely stringent. With countless financial service providers facing the axe for alleged money laundering, most institutions will take clients through a rigorous exercise before approving a simple request for a savings account. It is especially more stringent when dealing with a foreign client.
If you want an offshore account, it is important to work with a licensed professional. With the stringent laws some unscrupulous services providers may want to make the process shorter and faster by employing underhand methods. Beware that these methods could cause you serious problems in the long run. Therefore, endeavor to do right and you will enjoy the benefits of offshore banking services.