Panama Anonymous Bank Account Opening: Fact vs Fiction

Panama anonymous bank account opening is not available in the form of numbered accounts. However, Panama can offer privacy and protection to foreign clients.

In this article, we’re sharing the truth about an anonymous bank account opening in Central America, specifically in Panama for foreign non-residents.

We’ll also be digging into who can open bank accounts in Panama and whether offshore companies can qualify to bank here in the first place.

This article is part of our comprehensive series on Banking in Panama. 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 whether you can open Panama anonymous bank accounts below.

Table of Contents

  1. Panama Anonymous Bank Account
  2. Who Can Open a Panamanian Bank Account?
  3. Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
  4. Do You Want to Open Panama Bank Accounts?

Panama Anonymous Bank Account

A Panama anonymous bank account refers to an account where the identity of the account holder is not known by the bank, by Panama authorities, or by foreign governments. This type of anonymous bank account does not exist in Panama.

While certain forms of anonymity were available in Panama in the past, this is no longer the case. Anonymous accounts, numbered accounts, and bank accounts held by companies that are owned through bearer shares are no longer available in Panama.

Can You Still Access Anonymity in Panama?

It is still possible for you to open a non-resident bank account or a Panama bank account as a foreigner and obtain varying degrees of privacy and anonymity. In most cases, this is accomplished through the use of trusts, private foundations, and similar structures.

However, it’s important to acknowledge that Panama banks will verify the parties involved and the source of funds prior to opening accounts. In other words, Panama banks will want to confirm the settlor, founder, or beneficial owner, whichever the case may be.

Additionally, depending on your country of citizenship and residency, you may have to report any accounts held in Panama. These requirements typically include disclosing financial assets held in Panama (and elsewhere) as well as accounts held by companies you control.

Likewise, Panama banks may be required to disclose your assets or those held by entities related to you to other countries. This is often a requirement of information-sharing agreements that Panama participates in, including CRS, AEOI, and FATCA.

What Level of Privacy is Guaranteed in Panama?

While it may not be possible to open an anonymous bank account in Panama, it is possible to immediately unlock greater privacy by banking here compared to your home country.

Of course, a certain degree of privacy is available to you anytime you bank outside of your home country. This is true whether you decide to bank in Panama, Switzerland, Singapore, or any other country where you are not a resident.

This degree of privacy is facilitated by simply banking in a different financial system. And, it is especially important for individuals who live in less developed countries than Panama.

Unfortunately, there are still many places in the world where property rights and the rule of law are subjectively interpreted by those in charge. In these places, banking in Panama (or elsewhere) can help you protect yourself and your savings from extortion, criminals, and corrupt politicians.

If you would like to explore banking in Panama further, use the following list to see if you qualify to open an account.

Who Can Open a Panamanian Bank Account?

Panamanian bank accounts can be opened by foreign non-residents, foreign residents, and of course Panamanian citizens. In other words, most individuals can qualify to open a Panama bank account. In fact, in most cases, foreign non-residents from most countries can apply to open a Panamanian bank account from abroad, without ever visiting Panama.

That said, Panama observes international banking regulations and abides by similar risk ratings as other countries. With this in mind, if you are a citizen or resident of a high-risk country or a country that is on one of the major international watchlists, you should prepare for enhanced due diligence during the account opening process.

Can Offshore Companies Open Bank Accounts in Panama?

Yes, offshore companies can open bank accounts in Panama. In fact, Panama is both accessible and affordable for offshore companies to open accounts. In most cases, offshore companies can open accounts remotely with a modest deposit of USD 10,000 to USD 25,000.

If you are interested in exploring your banking options (and requirements) 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.

Do Panama Banks Report to the IRS?

Yes, Panama banks report to the IRS any accounts owned or controlled by US persons. This is a requirement of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), which came into effect in March 2010. That said, reporting to the IRS by qualified intermediaries is an obligation that extends to all participating countries, not just Panama.

Does Panama Have Bank Secrecy?

Panama does not have bank secrecy in the traditional sense. However, Panama law does penalize anyone who shares information about accounts or account holders with unauthorized parties. That said, the penalties typically involve fines and are not severe when compared to other jurisdictions that mandate criminal charges for similar cases.

Is It Possible to Have an Anonymous Bank Account?

No, it is not possible to have an anonymous bank account in the traditional sense. However, many of the benefits that anonymous bank accounts offer are still available. To obtain these benefits, most people need to make use of trusts, foundations, offshore entities, and similar structures.

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.

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+ Expert insights on which banks to choose & why

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+ 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!

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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