In this article, we’re exploring how hard it is to open a bank account in Panama as a foreign non-resident. We will also dig into the challenges of opening Panama bank accounts for foreign and offshore companies.
This article is part of the comprehensive series on banking in Panama by GlobalBanks. You can access this series for free right now by using the link above.
In addition to detailed account opening guides, this free series on Panama banking also discusses the largest banks in Panama, Panama opening requirements, the costs of banking in Panama, and much more. Use the link above to start exploring all of your free Panama banking content right now.
Alternatively, use the table of contents to continue exploring how hard it is to open a bank account in Panama.
Table of Contents
- How Hard Is It to Open a Bank Account in Panama?
- Panama Account Opening Challenges
- Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
- Do You Want to Open Panama Bank Accounts?
How Hard Is It to Open a Bank Account in Panama?
Opening a bank account in Panama can be very hard for foreign non-residents. This is especially true when compared to jurisdictions like the United States where account opening is streamlined, automated, and often completed online.
That said, with the right account opening strategy, it is possible to open a Panamanian bank account that matches your requirements. However, there are a few key steps you’ll need to take first, the most important of which is selecting the right Panamanian bank.
Not surprisingly, most of the banks in Panama cater to Panamanian citizens and residents. As a result, most banks either deny foreign non-residents automatically or reject applications from foreign non-residents towards the end of the due diligence process.
For this reason, bank selection is the first and most important challenge that foreign non-residents will need to overcome when opening accounts in Panama. This is especially true if you want to open a Panama bank account remotely or online.
In the next section, we’ll detail additional challenges that will impact how hard it is to open a bank account in Panama for you or your business.
Panama Account Opening Challenges
Over the last ten years, our team has encountered the following challenges while helping foreign non-residents navigate their banking options in Panama.
It’s important to note that your citizenship and residence can influence which challenges impact your account opening. This is especially true if you come from a country that is on an international watchlist, is otherwise restricted, or is the United States.
If you would like a specific list of challenges you will face in Panama (and how to overcome them) don’t hesitate to contact our team directly and learn how you can start opening Panama bank accounts today.
Panama Account Opening Challenges
- Very few Panama banks accept foreign non-resident clients
- Most (not all) Panama banks require an in-person meeting
- Panama banks are notorious for requiring stacks of paperwork
- Certain documents may need to be translated
- Certified documents are often required
- Bank reference letters are usually required
- Not all bankers are familiar with foreign clients
- Limited account opening support in English
- Getting bankers to respond in a timely manner is challenging
It’s important to note that these challenges do not exist at all Panama banks. However, these challenges do exist at many of the mainstream banks that most individuals consider opening with in Panama.
Again, the first step in navigating your Panama banking options is to carefully select where you want to apply. Secondly, you will need to prepare your documents and approach the bank correctly.
If you are interested in exploring your banking options in Panama further, don’t forget to visit our comprehensive guide on Banking in Panama, available in the link above.
Alternatively, if you would like to explore all of your offshore banking options, download our free guide and compare Panama to some of the top banking jurisdictions available.
Do You Want to Explore All Your Offshore Banking Options?
Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people exploring banking in Panama. If you have further questions about Panama, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
Can a US Citizen Open a Bank Account in Panama?
Yes, a US citizen can open a bank account in Panama. In fact, Panama is one of the few offshore banking jurisdictions that are easily accessible for US citizens and residents. Like other nationalities, US citizens can even open Panama bank accounts remotely.
What Is the Easiest Country to Open a Bank Account?
The easiest country to open a bank account in could be Panama. But, it depends on your citizenship, residency, and relationship to the country. On the other hand, depending on these factors, there could be a number of other countries that are significantly easier for you to access, especially as a foreign non-resident.
What Are the Advantages of Opening a Bank Account in Panama?
The advantages of opening a bank account in Panama include political, economic, and financial diversification. Additionally, depending on your country of residence, Panama can offer greater stability and security, protection from inflation and corruption, and much more.
Do You Want to Open Panama Bank Accounts?
If so, you can access GlobalBanks IQ and start the process of applying in Panama in a few clicks.
GlobalBanks IQ is our flagship international bank account opening solution. It gives you instant access to the…
+ Expert insights on which banks to choose & why
+ Step-by-step reports to open bank accounts in the best banking hubs
+ GlobalBanks international bank database & detailed bank profiles
+ Tried & tested banks for high-risk, offshore, & non-resident clients
+ Plus, get YOUR most pressing bank account opening questions answered by our team!
And “yes!” GlobalBanks IQ helps foreigners and non-resident individuals open bank accounts.
In fact, GlobalBanks IQ even helps non-resident, foreign & offshore entities open bank accounts.
To learn more about opening accounts with GlobalBanks IQ, use the link in the top menu. Or, contact us directly with any questions!