How to open a bank account in Panama in 2024
Opening a business bank account in Panama is an important step in establishing a business presence in this jurisdiction. Panama's strong financial sector, economic stability, and investor-friendly environment make it an attractive choice for both local and foreign businesses. This article outlines the benefits and requirements for opening a business bank account in Panama.

Determinants of the stability of the Panamanian banking system

  • Panama's consistent and stable economic growth positions it as a regional leader in Latin America, increasing investor confidence.
  • Panama has some of the strictest bank secrecy laws in the world, ensuring maximum privacy for account holders.
  • Banks in Panama offer some of the lowest interest rates in the world, making them an attractive option for investors.

Structure of the Panamanian banking system

In Panama, you can choose from three types of financial institutions to open a business bank account.

  1. Chartered banks: these institutions operate as full-service financial institutions throughout Panama and serve a wide range of clients.
  2. Internationally licensed institutions (offshore banks) in Panama.
  3. Government depository institutions: these institutions are regulated by the government and serve specific purposes.
It is important to note that the Panamanian banking system does not include a deposit insurance system, so careful due diligence is required when choosing a reliable bank.

Foreigners can open a business bank account in Panama remotely, streamlining the account opening process and facilitating international business transactions.

Banking services in Panama

Several banks in the country cater to the needs of both locals and foreigners.

  1. State-owned Banco Nacional de Panama.
  2. HSBC Bank Panama caters to corporate and individual clients.
  3. The largest bank in the country and Central America is Banco Del Istmo.

Services to both residents and foreigners:

  • Standard accounts with different features and fees, so it's important to compare options.
  • Time deposits, also known as certificates of deposit, are a safe way to earn interest on your savings over a fixed period of time. Banks in Panama offer different CD terms and interest rates.
  • Access to ATMs throughout Panama. This allows account holders to conveniently withdraw cash and perform various banking transactions.
  • Debit and credit cards in Panama. A security deposit is often required to be approved for a credit card. This deposit is usually set at 125% of the desired monthly credit limit. The international credit card networks VISA and MasterCard are widely accepted in Panama and are available at most banks.
  • Comprehensive online banking services that allow customers to manage their accounts, pay bills, and conduct transactions from the convenience of their devices.
When choosing a bank in Panama, it is important to consider your specific financial needs, including account types, fees, and customer service. Local banks offer a range of options, and it is advisable to compare them to find the one that best suits your needs.

Opening a business account in Panama: requirements and procedures

Table 1: Required documentation



Notarized copy

A notarized copy of the passport belonging to the account holder.

Registration documents

Documents related to the registration of the business entity.


Two letters of reference from financial sources on official letterhead, signed by authorized individuals.

Business plan

A detailed description of your company's activities, including monthly banking activities, contact information, type of business, regions of operation, and descriptions of products and services.

Sample signatures

Signatures of all authorized individuals who will have access to the account.

Proof of the source of funds

Documentation to establish the legitimate source of funds for the account.


Certificates of good standing or existing from the public registry, issued within the last 90 days.

Visa documentation

If you are residing in Panama on an immigrant visa, provide its copies and your ID.

Copies of tax returns

Copies of tax returns for the past two years, with translation into Spanish.

Table 2: Account opening process



Step #1: Preparation

Assemble and complete all necessary documentation and forms for the account application.

Step #2: Interviewing

Arrange an interview with the bank to discuss the account's purpose and provide further business details.

Step #3: Application

Following the interview, complete and sign the required bank documents. The bank's compliance department will review the application and client profile.

Step #4: Deposit funds

Make the initial deposit into the account. Note that Panamanian banks often have minimum balance requirements, which may vary based on the account type and associated services.

Please note that the typical timeframe to open a business account in Panama is approximately two weeks, although this duration may be extended if the bank requires additional documents or information.

Panama privacy policy

Panama's commitment to privacy extends to foreigners who choose to open accounts and conduct business in the country. This strong legal framework ensures the confidentiality of financial and personal information.

The foundation of this policy is the Panamanian Constitution, which protects privacy, private ownership of real estate, and legitimate investments for both individuals and legal entities. In addition, Panama has specific codes, conventions, and privacy laws that restrict the sharing of confidential information with third parties.

Fill out the form and receive personalized advice on the process of registering a bank account in Panama or any other jurisdiction. YB Case experts will provide you with comprehensive assistance and ensure a smooth and confidential account opening process in Panama.
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