Can anyone recommend a bank in Panama?

Can anyone recommend a good and reliable Panamanian bank for a Panamanian offshore company owned by a Panamanian resident?

Many thanks

Hi I just came from Panama because I have an offshore company there.
One ok is HSBC and there is a new one name Balboa bank. If you want more details I will send it to you.
My mails is fpadron[at]



I have had great luck with GlobalBank here in Boquete.  Very helpful in every aspect.  That being said, you probably want to use an attorney for the offshore set-up.  See my Articles and Links page at for some great resources that may be helpful.

If u r a USA citizen, be prepared to give up all ur financial information as well as that of ur immediate family. This info is then sold to the IRS who, if u owe any taxes or child support, will seize ur account. All they need to do under the new regulations and FTA is present a claim here in court. There is no requirement that they, or the banks here notify u about any pending actions. The 2 banks named here HSBC n Global along with Multibank, are the worst banks to do business with.IMHO n experience. Their staffs have no clue what their job is and are in no way qualified to advise u for anything. If u complain about anything, like them holding ur funds for weeks n sometimes months, for no reason and saying they haven't rec'd them or the name is wrong when its not...badabing, badaboom ur outta there. They just up n close ur account with no letters of recommendation so u can go through the whole mess again. Right now the banks r culling their clients, so as not to have to keep the records that the IRS wants on you. If the bank fails to notify them or posts ur info incorrectly, there is a 30% hold back for taxes on the xfer amount and if they find ur account they can pull 30% right out of the account. Then u hav to go n fight them for it!!! :(WTF!!!! Screw them!!!

My recommendation is to go to a Credit Union to open ur accounts. Just a passport which they don't share with the Feds n ur documents for ur Corps or Foundations. The downside is most don't have Debit/Credit cards or checking. But at least ur not caught up in the IRS hunt for income earners off shore or estate tax evaders.

Also, very important....if ur lawyers lips r moving....he's lying to ya!!!!! This is Panama, a Country racing backwards to the Stone Age and also where things just don't always add up.

Maybe consider another country!!!!! No, I'm NOT gonna tell u....bcoz I don't need a herd of expats following me to another safe haven so the USA can take over that country too.

Good Luck:cool:

Do not waste your time. bank privacy is finished in Panama due to pressure from from OCED, IRS,etc... never bank in the country were U live.. Open an account in Beliez or Hong Kong.

we opened bank accounts here and weren't asked for any information like that. All of the account information is done by numbers (think like swiss bank account). Even our debit and credit cards don't have names, just numbers. I'm not sure how the IRS or anyone would seize anything when the bank doesn't take any info like that from you. And not a single bank asked for financial information of relatives. I don't know where you went to open an account, invader609, but we didn't have an experience like that. From our experience, we understand that Panama did sign that treaty with the states to share information but do not uphold it because it violates Panama's privacy banking laws.

if it's privacy you're looking for, Panama is still high on the list for us but not number 1. I do agree with 2drdon, Hong Kong is numero uno for banking privacy.

To would depend on when u opened ur accounts. I find it hard to believe they were opened in the last 2 years. Previously, there were no requirements to reveal ur personal info. Now try Global, Multibank or HSBC. The forms are never ending and they keep you waiting for weeks, then say "Oh we need this form filled out." Another week goes by then it the same thing. No, I don't believe u opened ur accounts with no financial disclosure. Lets assume u did. U can be sure u will be asked to complete the disclosure forms or u account will be terminated as soon as the IRS audit hits their door.

Been there n done that...many times. Sorry!!!

check out the following link. They can provide a solution. … NAodnw3KGQ  Of course as an american we are required to file the required IRS forms.

@2drdon  Good info....needs to be updated. We've been there b4....all OK.

I have had great service at ScotiaBank and Multibank.
If you are Cdn then opening an account is quite easy.
Avoid the bank with the four letter abbreviation like the plague.

Here is a new link to review if U R fom the U.S.A....Your freedom is gradually being taken away with $$ controls.. Good by AMERIKA

@2drdon,  The link is not alive...pls chk it.

Sorry it did not lite up... It was a link to an article that remined U.S. person of the changes in U.S, IRS requirements beginning 01/01/2012. 1099 will be required on all precious metal purchases in the U.S. also reminder that U.S. banks will be required to withold an send to the U.S. treasury 30% of all wire transfers from U.S. banks going offshore, which means if you are buying a house in Panama for $300K cash you willneed to send 1/3 more or $400k of which $100K will go to the treasury. The $100K will be returned to you when you file your income tax at the end of the year.....WoW I guess the govt. needs your dollars an wants to make sure you claim the $$ on your income.  Oh well, I think the IRS want to keep all americans an their $$ in the U.S... Soon foreign banks will not want to have Americans as clients due to all of the B.S...Good luck

2drdon- So, after reading your take on the article, do you thing that if I have the bulk of my money transferred/wired to a bank in Panama the first week of December 2011 that I will squeak by this law? I will be arriving then and my lawyer will be opening a bank account for me. This is very disheartening news.

U R screwed if U R from the U.S.A.. Personally I would only open a checking account here in Panama an never have more than 10K in it at any time.... C the attached link

Do not assume you have any banking privacy here in Panama.. Many banks here will not open accounts for americans due to the new reporting requirements..I would not keep my retirement or saving account in the same country in which U live especially the U.S. U think things are bad now in the U.S. watch an see what is in store over the next few months an years. For banking security an privacy I would look at Hong Kong. Please refer to the link I supplied previously for an accountant that will help U set up the account.

If U are retiring U are fortunate to have a few bucks left after the IRS gets through with you...I also had kids an grand kids who worked me over B 4 I escaped

Good luck

roseman :

Can anyone recommend a good and reliable Panamanian bank for a Panamanian offshore company owned by a Panamanian resident?

Many thanks

The best bank in Panama is Banco General

It's easier to open a bank account with a residency visa, otherwise its going to be a nightmare...

Also you can get citizenship few years after you get your perm. residency... and if you are worried about paying taxes to the IRS after you get your panamanian citizenship you can resign to the american one... of course in the case you really wanted to live in Panama... in this case you would need a visa to the usa if you resign to your american citizenship.. (you can keep both)

We did it before we were residents and it was a pile of documents and a lengthy application, not exactly a nightmare but time consuming and tedious. It was a few years ago though, with Scotiabank, not sure if it's different now or with different banks.

You cannot escape the IRS! I looked this up once and I think you are still liable to the IRS for something like 10 years. And if you renounce your US citizenship good luck ever getting a visa to go back. I highly doubt you would be allowed back in. It also says if you willingly take citizenship in another country that says you are renouncing your US citizenship. People say it's never enforced but I wouldn't risk it since if that happened I'd never be able to go back and see my family, and to me that is unthinkable.

I'm a retired resident though so not eligible to apply for citizenship, and for me I don't see why I would need to. I am legal to live the rest of my life here if I want to, and our income is low enough we don't pay taxes in the US. There are a lot of advantages to not having much money. :D

lporras :

Also you can get citizenship few years after you get your perm. residency... and if you are worried about paying taxes to the IRS after you get your panamanian citizenship you can resign to the american one... of course in the case you really wanted to live in Panama... in this case you would need a visa to the usa if you resign to your american citizenship.. (you can keep both)

it's easy to open an account in panama
you don't even have to live there
no lawyers are needed
if you don't succeed try different branches of the same bank

I have had four bank accounts in Panama for over ten years (all at Global Bank)
One is for The Panama Helpline, a community safety group, one for my personal savings account, one for our chequing account, and one for PaCT - our theater company.

I was always frustrated by how it took every time I set up an account - and how many questions, stamped/ notarized documents I needed - plus because they have no Deposit Insurance here in Panama -and to protect myself (and our future investors in the musical) I went to another bank (Banco General) to set up the account for PANAMÁ: THE MUSICAL.

I brought all the documentation I needed (I was an experienced pro at this by now).
They said in three weeks it would be open.

I left for Canada to help get the Toronto production of our musical underway, and when I got back 6 weeks later - NOTHING had been even started. They said I needed one more form signed (a brand new form). I asked what it was for - they did not know. I was a tax declaration of some kind - the form was new - and no-one knew what it meant. I was told to bring it to my lawyer. So I did. He had no idea - he had never seen this form before, so I took it to our new accounting firm for the musical - they said: "Check off this box and sign it". I did. That was not enough for the bank. They said the accountant had to fill it out. No instructions anywhere on the simple one page form - no-one told us what to do or why they needed it - I had had enough.

I said "Forget it" and demanded all my forms back, but they did not want give them back to me. I told them "I am never opening an account with this bank, so they had no reason to keep all my private, confidential information". They said no, that these forms I had filled out - including copies of my passport, retirement and pension information, my resident ID, banking information, letters of reference from my other Bank - that these forms were Bank property. I had to call my Panamanian assistant to call and in fluent Spanish demand that these forms be returned. Finally they relented and gave be back the huge stack of forms. (they kept the file folder they had them all in) and I walked across the parking lot to Global Bank. Within TWO WEEKS we had our account, and our checkbook.

I can understand "Know your customer" laws, but you must be prepared for unrelenting paperwork and petty details - you will tell them how many deposits you will have every week, from where, where these monies came from, how much you expect to be in the account at any given time, number of transactions, etc, etc, etc - plus all of your personal details.

The Panama Papers has caused all financial institutions in Panama to triple check - but some are MUCH more faniggly (is that a  word?) some are overly demanding - some take forever - for my money (pun intended) Global Bank is my choice. In Coronado Gustavo and his Manager both speak perfect English - and they know what their forms are for, and why they need that information.

Rob Brown

Hi All,

Would someone know about a site comparing services offered by major banks covering the whole country (i.e not just Panama city, Boquete or Coronado)? I would like to be able to compare services but also costs involved  :D  ... and if I ever take residency in Panama I probably would need a bank with good coverage of the country.

I am no US citizen so IRS is not an issue (yet at least) for me. Now reading the Panama tax guide from Deloitte I am under the impression that whatever the amount on a bank account is, there is no tax. Sounds too good to be true  :unsure . Can someone confirm?

Many thanks  :)

your research is correct
go visit some banks and you will soon find out that every branch is a bit different
you don't have to own property or live in panama and no layers needed

Hi Tiffic

Swiss too?  :D
I will only be able to make it to Panama in the 2nd half of 2018. Probably that's good as I want to see the dark side  :sosad:  no seriously like many of us I want to feel how it is when it is less than ideal.

Anyway back to the banks in Panama. I checked on the internet for bank with a branch in Las Tablas and quickly found those (but there certainly are many others):
- Banco Nacional
- Global Bank
- Banco General

I also found Banco Azteca but from what I understand the business model of that one is probably a bit different.

Now I did not found a kind of synopsis where I would be able to compare what they offer at what price  :unsure

Anyone can advise here? which bank with extensive coverage of Panama is best in class? in terms of services, prices, etc.. or all of them are pretty much offering the same products at the same price?

thanks for sharing your experiences. Much appreciated

As a Panamanian I personally like to deal with Banco General  (credit cards and personal loans), I cant give you much intel about business or commercial banking.

Banco General is one of the biggest banks here, serious people and a little bit rigorous, but if you have positive credit references from them, then ANYONE will be willing to give you more credit cards or lend you money for anything. English website and english speaking employees sometimes.

Many thanks for this confirmation. I had posted the same question on the French speaking/writing side of and this is precisely what I was told. Banco General is top  :D ...and rigorous... which is a good thing I believe in the banking business

Now, though I can read pretty much everywhere that, as a foreigner, only a resident can open an account, I was wondering what the below covers (found on Banco General website):

Pasaporte vigente o carnet de residencia permanente (si aplica)
Carta de referencia bancaria
Vínculo con Panamá
Sustento de ingresos

At first sight it reads like it is possible to open an account as non resident though the requirements of the vinculo con Panamá will probably make it impossible. Would someone know what they mean for a personal bank account (not a company)? I understand banks may use extreme caution with US citizens (FATCA) but maybe they are more flexible with non US citizens? Being able to open an account in advance of a move would ease the process and reduce the stress  :)

New topic