Panamanian bank account opening doesn’t need to be complicated. In our experience, most individuals and companies can successfully open accounts in Panama by following a series of straightforward steps.
Not surprisingly, one of the most important steps is selecting the right Panamanian bank. That means choosing a bank in Panama that wants you as a client, offers the services you need, and has opening requirements you can meet.
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 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 now.
Alternatively, use the table of contents to continue exploring your Panamanian bank account options.
Table of Contents
- Opening a Panamanian Bank Account
- Why Open a Panamanian Bank Account?
- Who Can Open a Panamanian Bank Account?
- Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
- Do You Want Help Opening a Panamanian Bank Account?
Opening a Panamanian Bank Account
Panamanian bank account opening is available to both foreign non-residents and foreign and offshore companies. In most cases, accounts can be opened remotely, without the need to ever visit the country.
Like elsewhere, each bank in Panama sets its own account opening requirements. Not surprisingly, foreign applicants have to meet different opening requirements than local residents and businesses. In most cases, this means a more difficult time opening Panama bank accounts due to higher deposits, additional documentation, translations, and certifications.
That said, with the right account opening strategy and by applying to “foreigner-friendly” banks, most applicants can find suitable Panamanian banking options.
Here is a look at the minimum requirements you will need to meet to consider opening a Panamanian bank account.
Panamanian Bank Account: Individual Requirements
- An initial deposit of USD 10,000
- Government-issued identification
- Proof of address in the country of residence
- Tax ID number from country of residence
- Supporting documents for income or wealth
- Completed account opening application
Panamanian Bank Account: Company Requirements
- An initial deposit of USD 10,000
- Corporate registration documents
- Detailed overview of company activities
- Individual requirements for each shareholder
- Individual requirements for each director
- Corporate financial records or projections
- Completed account opening application
As mentioned above, it’s important to note that each bank in Panama will set its own account opening requirements. So, before applying for an account, request a complete list of requirements prior to opening.
Additionally, while there are banks in Panama that accept foreign non-residents, this is not always the case. In fact, there are only a few Panamanian bank account opening options for most foreign non-residents.
With this in mind, if you are planning on applying for a bank account in Panama, you should make sure that the banks you are considering will actually open accounts for foreigners.
Why Open a Panamanian Bank Account?
The goal of opening a Panamanian bank account isn’t to get an account open. Instead, most applicants are seeking specific Panamanian banking and financial services.
So, prior to submitting an application, it’s important to confirm whether the Panamanian bank you are considering actually offers the services you need.
With this in mind, here is a short overview of the specific services most Panamanian bank accounts can offer.
Panamanian Banking Services
- Basic offshore bank accounts
- Multi-currency accounts
- International investment accounts
- Non-resident mortgages
- Debit and credit cards
Do You Want to Explore All Your Offshore Banking Options?
Who Can Open a Bank Account in Panama?
If you’re just starting to explore Panama as an offshore banking option, one of the most important questions to answer is whether you qualify to open an account here.
While there is a wide range of Panama forum discussions that try to debunk who can and cannot open a Panama account, the answer is relatively straightforward.
In most cases, the only question you need to answer to determine if you qualify is “Why do you want to open Panama bank accounts?”
The reason that this question is so important is because Panama banks (like elsewhere) need to understand your desire to open a Panamanian bank account.
Of course, even if you have a clear reason, you still need to meet each bank’s account opening requirements. And, depending on your reason, you may need to provide supporting evidence that demonstrates your ties to Panama in the first place.
That said, whether you are looking to open with a corporate bank, a retail bank, or a private bank in Panama, you should be able to open accounts if you fall into one of the following categories.
Who Can Open With a Panamanian Retail Bank?
Individuals and companies looking to deposit between USD 10,000 and USD 25,000 seeking multi-currency accounts. In most cases, regional or local ties to Panama are preferred. However, in our experience, these ties are not always required to open accounts.
Who Can Open With a Panamanian Corporate Bank?
Corporate bank accounts typically support the cross-border requirements of large multinationals. In Panama, like other offshore jurisdictions, this category primarily includes large corporations that have set up their regional headquarters in the country. That said, small to medium-sized enterprises can also access a range of corporate banking services in Panama.
Who Can Open With a Panamanian Private Bank?
Panama is not a private banking jurisdiction. Instead, it is an offshore banking jurisdiction that has a few banks that offer “private” bank accounts. However, in our opinion, these banks and the services they offer are best suited to local Panamanians who are not interested in banking abroad. In short, foreign non-residents, foreign residents, and even Panamanian nationals who want to access private banking services should explore more advanced banking jurisdictions instead.
Frequently Asked Panama Banking Questions
Below are a few of the most common questions we receive from people exploring Panamanian bank accounts. If you have further questions about Panama, don’t hesitate to contact us directly.
Can a Foreigner Open a Bank Account in Panama?
Yes, a foreigner can open a bank account in Panama. In most cases, a Panamanian bank account can be opened remotely by foreign non-residents of most countries with a low starting deposit. That said, bank selection is critical as most Panamanian banks do not accept foreign applicants. Additionally, the services available to foreigners in Panama can vary widely between banks.
Why Do People Have Bank Accounts in Panama?
Panama is an offshore banking jurisdiction that is home to 55 banks, including a wide range of regional and international banking options. This makes Panama one of the strongest banking jurisdictions in the Caribbean and Latin America. And, for many people, Panama has become a safe haven for banking as it allows them to escape rampant inflation and political and social disorder in their home country.
Is Panama Good for Offshore Banking?
Yes, Panama is good for offshore banking. However, Panama is only one of many offshore banking jurisdictions that most individuals and companies can consider for account opening. With this in mind, prior to applying for a Panamanian bank account, applicants should consider all of their available options.
Do You Want to Open Panamanian Bank Accounts?
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