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Banking In Panama – Where And How To Open Your Account


Panama is Central America’s preeminent banking destination. Its thriving banking sector has fueled the growth of the country’s economy and attracted dozens of international banks from around the globe. Of the 75 banks currently operating in the country, 2 are state-owned, 47 have general licenses, and 26 have international licenses.

Why Panama, you ask?

For starters, the country boasts strong regulatory oversight that maintains the stability of the banking system, and banks tend to stay afloat during periods of economic turmoil. Favorable tax incentives and high certificate of deposit (CD) rates draw in a constant flow of cash from foreign individuals and entities. On top of that, there are several laws in place that help ensure the privacy of clients. Together these factors contribute to Panama’s appeal as an offshore banking haven.

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Different banks have different requirements. Some banks have stricter requirements than others, and some may require that you have ties to Panama through marriage, real estate, employment, etc., in order to open an account.

Speak with a bank representative to confirm which documents you need to bring and what conditions must be met.

Here, we list 10 banks operating in Panama (both domestic and foreign) that are currently accepting new American clients.

A subset of Citigroup Inc., Citibank is one of the largest banks in the world with more than 2,500 branches across 98 different countries, spanning Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas—including a few branches in Panama City. Citibank is listed as a general license bank on Panama’s bank superintendent website.

Atlas Bank is a general license bank in Panama with official headquarters in the States. Out of all the banks we corresponded with, Atlas Bank seemed the most willing to do business with Americans.

Banesco is a Venezuelan general license bank with a large presence in Panama. There are dozens of branches throughout the country, including prominent expat destinations such as Panama City and David…

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