Banking – The Benefits of Offshore Banking in Panama
Panama is the world’s second largest
offshore banking centre after Switzerland and is now regarded as
a stable and secure international banking centre. Panama’s
offshore banking laws follow the guidelines of the Basle Committee
on Banking Supervision which ensure client privacy and seek to prevent
criminal banking activity. This has ensured tightened regulation
and controls and has created a highly competitive, extremely private
and confidential but well monitored offshore banking industry.
It is possible for a company to access the full range of off-shore
company services and to establish offshore corporate accounts in
Panama to be used in conjunction with a Panama IBC. The creation
of an IBC in Panama is a very straightforward process and such a
company will be free of all Panamanian taxes as long as its business
activities are carried on outside of the country.
The benefits of setting up an offshore bank in Panama are
Companies that choose to incorporate and bank in Panama but operate,
hold assets and profit externally to the country can remit income
to their Panamanian offshore bank account without having to pay
local taxation on that income.
There are no requirements to file any reports with the Panamanian
government regarding any off-shore activities, except the annual
government franchise tax of US$150 to remain in good standing. The
only major requirement that the Panamanian authorities insist upon
is that the company have a Resident Agent in Panama who must be
a Panamanian registered lawyer or firm of lawyers.
Panama offers the strictest banking and financial secrecy laws available
in the world, thereby providing legal protection to assets and identity
through the confidentiality of business and banking transactions.
There are no currency restrictions in Panama. The U.S. dollar is
the circulating medium. Panama’s relaxed banking laws make
it easy to move funds in and out of the country.
It is not necessary to have a paid-in capital, nor time limit in
which the authorized capital must be fully paid.
Opening an off shore account in Panama is an uncomplicated process.
There are many companies offering IBC incorporation and bank account
establishment packages for a fee (please
see our legal fees to provide this service for you) An individual
wishing to open an offshore bank account will have to provide irrefutable
proof of identity such as notarized copies of a passport as well
as financial reference letters.
Three types of offshore bank accounts can be opened : personal accounts,
business accounts and merchant accounts. There is a provision for
enabling internet banking facilities for non-residents to access
account information and carry out transactions. It is also easy
to get debit cards, credit cards and checkbooks for offshore bank
It is necessary to make a minimum initial deposit to open a bank
account in Panama and, once the account has been opened, to keep
a certain balance in the account, failing which certain charges
For more information about opening a bank account in Panama or starting
a Panama corporation please see our fees below or contact
us for more information.