living in Dominican Republic: opening a bank account

My name is Sandmo, I am thinking of visiting the Dominican Republic this coming April 2020 to look into staying long term. I have read many articles online about getting a bank account in the DR if a person is looking to buy land/home. I've read that in order to open an account a person must know a citizen of the DR and use them as a reference. What if you don't have any contacts in the DR, maybe bring a few thousand dollars to open up an account along with all the paper work from the States showing employment, bank statements, credit history etc. Would that do or will I still need a resident reference and how did other expats get help with opening up a bank account? Would I have to become a citizen first? Is there something that I can do like stay in DR for maybe three months out of the year and then returning to the states? I would have to do something like this because I have a job in the states and would like to build up some savings before moving 100%. Any advice is appreciated thank you.

Welcome to the forums.  What area will you be visiting?  It's pretty easy to get a reference for the bank just needs to be someone with an account.

Bring all those documents plus a.letter.from your bank saying you are a client in good standing!

If you will be near the capital I can help you with the bank.

I'm hoping to come sometime in April, I will be arriving in the North Coast areas. Maybe I will look you up, thanks for the offer!

I am in Santo Domingo so that will not help you on the north coast honey, but you will meet others there who can assist.

I asked my bank for a letter stating I was a client in good standing and they said the only thing they could provide was a account summary basically shows my running balance for past 12 months. Do the banks there accept this? From reading forums it looks like I need my passport, reference from DR citizen, Do I need an employment letter? Anything else I need?

Patience.  It will take an hour or so to go through the initial stages, and then likely a return visit to solidify things.  It's a strange process, but can be done.  If opening a US$ account, I think our bank wanted $100 US deposited.  For a peso account, they wanted $RD 3000 deposited.  Our bank in Canada just wrote that we've been clients since 19XX, and have however many accounts, mortgages, or loans with them, all current.  And we've been good customers.  It's al B.S., really, just hoops to jump through and boxes to tick.  Our lawyer we used for purchasing our home wrote us a reference letter,  and we were golden.

I'm in Moca near Santiago but when I went to open a bank account they accepted my bank statements. It may have helped that I was dealing with the same bank here as I do in Canada - Scotiabank - but otherwise it was not too hard. The only thing I can't do until I receive my CEDULA is open a savings Planner says, someone with more hands on North Coast experience will likely have more pertinent information.....cheers

We are in this bank account dilemma at the moment. We are still in the States and still working, so we are trying to avoid flying to DR for the sole purpose of opening a bank account for our residency. How long it takes and the requirements seem to be different for each bank.......and what day of the week it is, if Mercury is in retrograde, if the bank manager is having a bad hair day, etc.   :0|

That will require a visit if for no other reason then to sign once ready.   Which bank?  Maybe I can help.

Or PM me if you are more comfortable.

I'll PM you....

Thanks Uncle Buck. I'm applying for my residency so I can not fly back once issued my temp residency from Miami. Perhaps I should try to open this before I try for residency. I'm going to bring 3 months letter and letter from DR citizen and cross my fingers.

Do not make that mistake to Think Scotiabank in canada and Scotiabank in the DR are the same only their Name is the same . Banco Popular is an other Sample ..

If you come to buy Property you need no Bank account You need a Lawyer with International Bank account . Good Lawyers have that on Regular Base . The other Thing is the recommendation and the Guarantor also the Lawyer can do this or a Person who work at his Office . Bringing Bank Record from Your Bank is pretty helpful. Now think in what you want to do with your Money in that Bank account . If you will use ATM machines take notice that there are BHD and Banco Popular Leader in this Service and the other Brand is Banreservas but would never recommend to open an account there this People are much to complicated from what I experienced myself  and with high level Investors . They Finally did invest with other Bank than Banreservas . To buy a House or any Type of Property you do not need to be a Resident but I highly recommend to become One , if you invest an amount above 250 K USD you can go for an Investors Visa . I never did any as private Person but with a Company I did found for this Reasons . But all up to You . Get yourself a good Lawyer and he will assist you to do the most beneficial for You . If You do not know any go and visit several and make yourself a picture who will serve to You.

Scotiabank is an affiliate of Bank of Nova Scotia and there are benefits if you bank with them in Canada such as ATM fees not being applied and financial security is backed up by the parent company. Their credit rating is that of the parent company.They operate independently here and you need to be approved by the particular branch manager for an account and your banking with Scotiabank in Canada will not help - the bank references will.

They now own Progreso and the same benefits apply at that bank for Scotiabank account holders.

With Progreso their coverage is now very good. And you don't get queues and added to which the ATM's have been progressively upgraded along along with the branches where the interior is now comfortable and you have a ticketed queuing system and you can wait seated on sofas.

So to open an account in DR it is only good for big investment buying house or a land other no need for it?like if u just visiting .
to open an account with Scotia Bank in DR you don't need to have an account with them in Canada?

No you do not. You can go to ANY bank. Some are better than others.  Those that have been here and deal with various banks can advise. I may elect another as I learn more about different banks. One reason I went was that two or more banking people speak english so it help greatly, but that was purely my choice.

Opening a bank account was not an easy chore!

As in everything the bank should fit your needs.  It depends where you will live and how you will use the bank.  Look at all the options before choosing.

I have accounts at 3 banks.

Scotiabank - as a Canadian I can't have certain types of accounts and I have no accounts in Canada so waiving atm fees has no value to me

Bank reservas -my least favorite. High fees and  Easy to get payroll accounts for employees

Banco popular - hands down best online.platform and decent fees.  Easy to open personal account,. Tougher to open business accounts but worth it.

According to the new banking law you must provide also to the bank your social security number to pass the info to USA goverment, another thing you must maintain your account with a balance over 500.00 US always, if not the bank will start to discount 10.00 every month.

planner :

Banco popular - hands down best online.platform and decent fees.  Easy to open personal account,. Tougher to open business accounts but worth it.

Agree, a lot ATM's arround the country, their App till now is alo the best and getting better, last update now you pay Services.

I opened a Scotiabank acct. in Canada so that I would have no ATM charges when I withdrew cash down here in the Dominican. Otherwise, the Canadian Scotiabank and the D.R. are two separate entities. They have no information on my Canadian banking here. The fact that I have an acct. in Canada is irrelevant to them. They follow policy down here.
I do not need to open a bank acct. for my financial needs here. Easy access to my cash in Canadian banks.

And Scotiabank  here will limit what you can do in their bank here. You cannot open interest bearing accounts or have a scotiabank credit card or loan here. 

I have asked several times why and never ever got a proper answer to the question.

You are correct that it is not easy, in that the only way you can get a credit card or an interest bearing account will be through the branch with whom you opened the account. It comes back to the your relationship with the management of that particular branch and no amount of trying through the head office or online works. And it is not that easy to open an account with them.

You are part of the Bank of Nova Scotia empire, but each part in each country is it's own entity and with a level of independence. Perhaps that accounts for their credit worthiness whereby if one entity gets into difficulties is does not weigh down on the empire. 2008 brought many things into focus about banking and the stability of Canadian banks impressed me.

It has worked for me for near 15 years here plus more years banking in other Caribbean countries with Scotiabank. For me, the ease of banking at branches, ATM use (holding a Barclays account, a partner of BNS eliminates fees too), low fees and online are the issues along with credit rating. That said I have been thinking about a change to BHD Leon where my wife banks.

planner :

And Scotiabank  here will limit what you can do in their bank here. You cannot open interest bearing accounts or have a scotiabank credit card or loan here. 

I have asked several times why and never ever got a proper answer to the question.

Thats weird from them, while their informatic system here is linked to Toronto office, will be very easy for them to offer products and services to canadians living here.

Its a tax issue apparently. IF you are canadian here  you cannot (last I checked)  have anything that generates interest!

It does NOT apply to other nationalities.

AND that is only with Scotiabank and I assume now Banco Progresso

planner :

AND that is only with Scotiabank and I assume now Banco Progresso

Yes, they are very close to complete the merger, they said will be 18 months, so Progreso logo will be soon replaced by scotiabank.

New topic