Opening a Panama Bank Account

A Panama bank account is a must-have for anyone who intends to move to or invest in the country. The nation has developed into the most important international banking center in Latin America and local law grants anyone who banks there the same rights as Panamanians.

Unlike the US, where it is quite difficult for foreigners to open a business bank account, Panama allows this to be done with relative ease. Nonetheless, the process requires some diligence on both the client and the bank to ensure all documents are in order. As a result, opening a Panama bank account can take between two to four weeks depending on the individual bank and their internal procedures.

If you are an American citizen or resident, we advise that you consult with us regarding the necessary documentation required for a Panama bank account as requirements vary by bank and sometimes even yearly. As a general rule, you should expect to provide one or more commercial references from Panama (either from your lawyer doing your immigration or from the local bank where you are planning on opening an account), proof of income and other documentation as requested by the bank.

As a general rule, Panama banks are more reluctant to open accounts for individuals that are not in Group 1 or 2 and will require some sort of proof of residence as well as financial verification. This is due to the fact that Panama banks are required by global reporting laws to share information about their customers with the US government (CRS/information exchange).

For this reason, it is very important for those considering a Panama bank account to contact us before beginning the process. We can assist with the Panama bank introduction and relocation services that are required to be completed before attempting to open an account. This will help reduce the time that it takes to be able to open an account, as well as the amount of documentation and time spent at the bank. In addition, we can also assist with the preparation of the required documents and filing them on your behalf with the appropriate authorities in Panama. This service is only available to clients who have contacted us prior to moving to Panama.