Panama Banking Laws: Panama Bank Account Guide

Panama banking laws are put in place to stabilize, protect, and regulate all financial activities and financial institutions operating in the country.

In this article, we’re exploring the Panama banking laws the financial institutions operating in the country need to follow. We’ll also answer common questions we receive from people exploring this topic.

This article is part of our free series on legal compliance risks, specifically the risks of banking in Panama, which you can access right now by using this link.

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 more information on Panama banking laws.

Table of Contents

  1. Panama Banking Laws
  2. Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
  3. Do You Want to Open a Panama Bank Account?

Panama Banking Laws

Panama banking laws are designed to protect, stabilize, and regulate the country’s financial activities. These laws are in place to protect the privacy of account holders, manage all financial institutions operating in the country, and comply with Panamanian and international regulations. 

The Panama Banking Law applies to banks or any person engaged in the banking business, including banking groups, representative offices, and domestic and international financial institutions. The Banking Law is a governing document outlining regulations for all financial activities in Panama.

All 55 financial institutions, while regulated by the Superintendency of Banks of Panama, are required to follow the banking laws. Under the Panama banking law, three types of banking licenses can be issued, including General Banking License, International License, and Representative License.

These banking laws play a critical role in the country’s financial services sector and Panama’s banking system and staying informed about these particular laws is crucial for a compliant and secure banking experience in Panama.

Can Foreign Non-Residents Open Offshore Bank Accounts in Panama?

Yes, foreign non-residents can open offshore bank accounts in Panama as long as they choose the right bank, meet the account opening requirements, and have a suitable profile. Banking in Panama as an American, Panamanian non-resident, or an expat is 100% possible. It’s even possible for these client types to open bank accounts in Panama remotely.

Bank selection will be an important factor to consider since not all banks in Panama accept foreign non-residents and of the banks that do, not all offer remote account opening.

If you are interested in learning more about banking in Panama, 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 the Panama banking laws. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Does Panama Have Bank Secrecy Laws?

Panama does not have bank secrecy laws 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.

Do Panama Banks Report to the IRS?

Yes, Panama banks report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The vast majority of banks around the world automatically report all accounts held by US persons under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA).

Is Panama a Tax Haven for US Citizens?

No, Panama is not really a tax haven for US citizens. Panama is a territorial tax jurisdiction. The tax system in Panama taxes locally sourced income, meaning you only have to pay taxes on the income earned in Panama. Other territorial tax jurisdictions include Singapore, Hong Kong, Gibraltar, Costa Rica, and Malaysia.

Do You Want to Open a Panama Bank Account?

If so, you can access GlobalBanks IQ and start the process of applying in Panama in a few clicks.

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+ 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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