Offshore banking in Panama is a kind of gold standard for offshore banking in general. The system of relations, laws, values, and traditions of this country makes Panama very attractive to business people from different countries.

But what makes Panama one of the best offshore accounts countries? In this country, the concept of banking secrecy is taken extremely seriously, and the terms of cooperation are maximally optimized for the client.

Offshore industry experts from International Wealth told us about all the benefits of Panama for opening offshore bank accounts.

Why choose Panama for offshore banking services?

Offshore banking in Panama received a second wind with the beginning of the deoffshorization era. It turned out that the package of services does not differ much from similar offers of Swiss banks with a similar level of reliability, while bank fees are significantly lower. In addition, internal rules for working with new clients are softer, and the general level of comfort is pretty high.

Panama is indeed one of the best options for offshore banking. Among its advantages are:

  • High reputation status of Panama.
  • Stability of the financial system.
  • The conservative policy of Panama’s banks guarantees the absence of abrupt and unmotivated changes.
  • A strong, diversified, and promising economy (think of the Panama Canal connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean).
  • Sufficient level of security. The economy of Panama is one of the most stable in the region.
  • Good main macroeconomic indicators, as for a developing country (a typical example is a low ratio of external debt to GDP).
  • Stability of sources of budget revenues – operation of the Panama Canal, banking / financial sector, insurance, registration of ships under the flag of Panama, tourism. They do not depend on the presence or absence of minerals, so they are little affected by price fluctuations in world markets.
  • The use of the US dollar as the national currency (simultaneously with PAB, rigidly pegged to the USD).
  • Well-thought-out policy of the financial regulator (National Bank of Panama).
  • A large selection of banks, which creates competition in the financial sector and contributes to the expansion of the list of services and the growth of their quality.

How to open an offshore bank account in Panama?

Usually, choosing a specific bank is recommended as a first step, but this strategy is not entirely correct. After all, even a personal account, not to mention a corporate one, can be opened for several purposes, and each of them requires its own individual approach and set of services.

Wealth International experts strongly recommend that you treat the preliminary stage thoughtfully – only in this way will your offshore bank account fully meet all your requirements.

Recommended order of steps:

  • Determine your personal offshore banking strategy. Here you should take into account the purpose of opening an account, your financial capabilities (present and expected), and requirements for the general list of services. You must calculate all the details before taking any specific steps.
  • Find suitable banks. At this stage, you should not choose a specific financial institution – first, identify those banks that, in principle, meet your requirements and are guaranteed to ensure the implementation of your personal offshore banking strategy.
  • Find your bank. If several financial institutions fall under your conditions, then you will have to choose a specific bank in the face of limited information to make a decision. Look at the reviews of other customers, check the latest ratings, and explore the corporate website. The bank has to confirm its readiness to open an account for you based on the existing conditions (citizenship, residence status, asset structure, and expected activity on the account). As a result, you should have only one candidate and 2-3 alternate options.
  • Determine the strategy for opening an offshore account in Panama. At this stage, you should take into account, among other things, purely practical aspects – the need for a personal visit to Panama and the organizational requirements of the bank itself. Make sure that you have free time (for a personal visit to the bank), a clear understanding of all stages of opening an account remotely (if you chose this option), or your intermediary is ready to complete the task (if you want to outsource the chores).

Common mistakes when opening an offshore bank account in Panama

If you use experienced professionals to represent your interests, these mistakes will not affect you. But if you are planning to act on your own (not the most correct strategy), information about potential pitfalls will be extremely useful.

The most common mistakes are:

  • Incomplete, erroneous, or outdated information. Offshore banking in Panama is less demanding than European or Asian, but this does not mean that you will be opened an account in violation of the regulations. Panama is a solid offshore jurisdiction, and no one has canceled compliance in local banks. If there are problems with the documents, at best, the account opening procedure will be delayed, at worst, you will be denied.
  • Inconsistency between the declared account profile and actual usage. One of the most popular mistakes is using a personal account for doing business or using a business account for personal financial transactions. If the bank detects signs of such a combination, you will have big problems with financial services up to blocking/freezing the account.
  • Additional fees. Cashing out money at an ATM is not always a free service, as well as preparing a bank statement, transferring money to an account in another bank, or even paying utility bills. Make sure that you clearly understand the cost of customer service in the selected bank.
  • Minimum account balance requirements. Some banks impose conditions on the balance at the end of the month, and if it turns out to be lower, the account may be frozen or closed. If this moment does not bother you, then there is no problem, but you must understand the terms of service before submitting documents for opening an offshore account in Panama.