Opening a Panama Bank Account for expats
Opening a Bank Account in Bocas del Toro can be challenging for expats who want to have their own business or want to relocate in Bocas Del Toro.
The only Bank on Isla Colon, is Banco Nacional de Panama (BNP) which is the National Government Bank. BNP requires that all foreigners who want to open an account must have
a “cedula” (Panamanian ID card). In order to obtain a “cedula” you will have to apply for Panamanian Residency.
Changuinola is the nearest town from Bocas del Toro Island, where you can find three more private banks of your choice: Global Bank, Banistmo, and Multibank.
Below you will find a General Description of the list of Documentation required by most banks when opening a Bank Account
– Documentation and Requirements by the Bank:
- Passport: A photocopy of the picture, signature and personal details page of passport must be provided,
- Second ID: Such a ID or Drivers License.
- Two (2) Bank Reference Letter: The client must provide an original bank reference letter with the bank’s letterhead, signed by the bank officer or representative, with complete contact information of the bank (address, telephone, fax and email) for verification purposes, with business card from a bank officer.
- Two (2) Commercial and Professional Reference Letters: Two original commercial or professional reference letters, on company letterhead, signed by the representative, with complete contact information (address, tel, fax, email) for verification purposes, and business card of the person.
This letter could be provided by actual or previous employer, your CPA, Doctor either from your Country or from Panama or any other person/company you have had previously hold Commercial or Professional activities.
- Account Applications: Each signatory must complete and sign the respective account applications and signature cards at the Bank.
- Evidence of Source of funds: The client must provide the bank information related to the source of the funds that will be deposited with the Bank, such evidence could be a letter from the previous or actual employer, bank statement of personal savings, letter of pension, or others.
- Personal Profile Description: A brief description of the account applicant (Country, City of Origen, previous employments, Education, reason to live in Panama), purpose of the account in Panama must be filed in written and signed by the applicant.
- Initial Deposit: Some Banks require a minimum initial deposit of USD $1,000.00
- Letter from Resident Agent or Panamanian Lawyer: every foreigner must provide a letter from the Panamanian Lawyer that will be conducting the business of the client in Panama.
- Tax Return: Tax Return is also necessary as prove of source of funds and to prove the Bank the good standing of taxes in your Country of origin.
– by Daniel Anaya, Associate