Best Place to Open Bank account?

Discussion in 'Business in Panama' started by willybaby, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. willybaby

    willybaby New Member

    I will be relocating to Panama but I do a lot of internet related business. Where is the best institution to open a bank account (personal/corporate) in terms of service, accessibility, etc?

    Also I want to open a merchant account (not high risk) so need to find the best rates. Pls advise..
  2. Darren

    Darren New Member

    Probably HSBC in terms of functionality.
  3. becky7474

    becky7474 New Member


    Start by using the search feature, then anything that isn't answered can be addressed.
  4. Culver

    Culver New Member

    Thanks Darren for your sharing, I am also searching for a bank which is best to open an account, by the way thanks freind for verifying an HSBC but will you send me the site link or more info about HSBC.
  5. GHamner

    GHamner New Member

    You can open up an HSBC account in the US. They can assist you in opening up an account here in Panama but they do charge a fee. Google HSBC to get a telephone number and they can assist you. Whether HSBC is the best choice or not I do not know.
  6. tompoker

    tompoker New Member

    unless you are looking into the residency programme or buying a property, banks accounts can be really difficult to open. HSBC for a foreigner is probally the best , however having tried myself before I applied for my residency banks were very uninterested in opening an account
  7. GHamner

    GHamner New Member

    That is true. It is very difficult to open an account in most cases in Panama. Takes a lot of time and effort. They act like they don't want your business. HSBC is willing to assist you in opening an account while you are still in the US for a fee. It is probably worth the money.
  8. LuigiMartinez

    LuigiMartinez New Member

    What did you finally do? Im interested in this topic also.....
  9. MarkG

    MarkG New Member

    Seriously, avoid banking in Panama or trying to establish a merchant account. In terms of service, this will probably start with delays in opening accounts and the prospect of a stable merchant account is something which still remains hidden on the other side of the moon.

    Most banks outside Central America, assuming all documentation is available, will open corporate accounts within a few days - never expect that in Panama and forget "best rates".

    Depending on your background, you may wish to consider locations like Belize, Gibraltar et al for both corps and banking. If you are not domiciled in the US, you have a wide choice of locations while living in Panama and no tax obligations to the 'home country'. If you are a US citizen, the bad news is that the US has an 'information exchange' agreement with Panama (TIEA's et al) and US FATCA legislation will become active next year. In the instance of US citizenship, even opening a personal bank account is an obstacle course - primarily because banks have no wish to waste time entertaining 'information requests' from the US government.

    Bottom line, regardless of citizenship, there is nothing appealing about trying to operate an e-commerce or internet-related business from Panama using the local 'services' - inevitably it becomes a time-wasting obstacle course. Seriously suggest you base your business outside of Central America while you may elect to live within that region.

    PS.. Damn - waste of time writing this in response to a 2011 post :)
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2012
  10. pingun

    pingun Member

    I partly agree with MarkG - Panama does work for e-commerce but only 90 % of the time so you need a backup processor to make things work perfectly. It's just like everything else here, works 75-95 % of the time leaving the country with an overall uptime of 2-3 % for all basic services (i.e. 97-98 % of the time at least one basic service is malfunctioning).
  11. cloudboy

    cloudboy Member

    Not necessarily. Old threads are still read. Your advice is well taken.

Share This Page