With its well-regulated banking system, Panama offers a range of banking services and benefits that cater to the needs of both residents and non-residents. We at Mata & Pitti serve as your bank’s point of contact and provide legal counsel to international banking clients. Here is a comprehensive checklist to consider when banking in Panama:

Choose the Right Type of Bank Account

Panama offers a variety of bank account options depending on your financial goals and requirements. You can choose between personal, corporate, or savings accounts. Personal accounts suit individual banking needs, while corporate accounts are ideal for business transactions and international trade. If you are a non-resident, consider opening a non-resident bank account, which allows you to conduct offshore transactions without the requirement of residency in Panama. Speak with Panamanian bank representatives to explore the different account options and identify the most suitable account type for your finances.

Verify Documentation Requirements

Be prepared to provide the necessary documentation when banking in Panama. Required documents typically include a valid passport, proof of residence in the form of a utility bill or lease agreement, a professional reference letter, and a bank reference letter from your current financial institution. Corporate account holders may need to provide additional documents such as a certificate of incorporation, certificate of good standing, and articles of association. Gather and organize all of your required documents before meeting with the bank. Make the necessary arrangements beforehand if any documents need to be notarized or apostilled.

Understand Bank Account Charges

Different banks in Panama have varying fee structures for their services. Familiarize yourself with the fees associated with opening and maintaining a bank account. Standard fees include monthly account maintenance fees, wire transfer charges, ATM fees, and foreign currency exchange fees. Consider the frequency of your transactions and the services you require to choose a bank with reasonable fees that align with your banking needs.

Assess Online Banking and Confidentiality

Take the time to evaluate the bank’s online banking platform for accessibility and convenience. Verify whether the bank offers secure online banking services that allow you to access your account, view transactions, and conduct transfers online. Make sure the bank’s online security measures can protect your financial information and transactions before creating an account. Panama banks work to comply with international financial transparency standards, but they also value client confidentiality. Discuss the bank’s policies regarding client privacy and inquire about any additional measures they take to safeguard customer information.

Evaluate the Bank’s Stability and Reputation

Before creating an account, verify the bank’s financial health, stability, and standing within the banking community. Verify whether the bank is licensed and regulated by Panama’s Superintendence of Banks to make sure it complies with its banking laws. Customer reviews and testimonials can help provide insights into the bank’s reputation and customer satisfaction. Choose a bank with a solid reputation and financial stability to protect your assets.

Understand Currency Options

Panama’s official currency is the U.S. dollar, making it an attractive option for international investors and business transactions using dollars. Some Panamanian banks may offer multi-currency accounts, allowing you to hold different currencies in a single account. Consider your currency needs and explore whether the bank provides multi-currency accounts for your international financial transactions.

Consider Additional Services and Benefits

Some banks in Panama offer additional services and benefits to attract customers. These services can include investment advisory, wealth management, and access to international financial markets. Inquire about the bank’s wealth management services and investment options to determine if they align with your needs. If you have questions about Panama retirement, trademark registration, marine law, or establishing a Panama IBC, Mata & Pitti lawyers can help.

Hire an Experienced Lawyer When Banking In Panama

For clients worldwide, Mata & Pitti lawyers focus on delivering internationally oriented services, such as international banking. Since 1984, our team of skilled attorneys has assisted in incorporating and administrating Panama IBCs and PIFs. We understand Panamanian rules and regulations and help our clients with referrals, documentation, secretarial work, and legal counsel regarding offshore banking. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you start banking in Panama.