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A Closer Look at Panama Banks

Jul 4, 2008
Panama banks are part of Panama's International Banking Center, the most modern and most successful in all of Latin America. It is only a single step comparing behind Switzerland. Panama banks number more than 100 banks operating in more than 300 offices from more than 32 countries all over the world. Major banks include those from Argentina, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, China, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Hong Kong, India, Korea, Israel, Japan, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, United States of America, and Venezuela. Indeed, Panama banks represent a wide spectrum of banks from Asia, Europe, and the Americas, resulting in a modern and effective banking system.

During the last two decades, Panama banks have experienced significant growth both in numbers and in transactions. As of December 1995, the International Banking Center surpassed more than US$ 33 million in assets, representing an impressive 3 percent growth. Aside from the brisk business Panama banks conduct, they likewise provide direct employment for 10,000 people. If banking allied services are to be included in this figure then Panama banks provide for thousands of indirect employment.

Panama banks offer very attractive interest rates on its deposits, from 6.5 percent up annually. However, these rates are subject to changes depending on the international interest rates and the bank's specific policies. As many Panama banks transact business on the international level, most of them will offer online banking. All Panama banks use state-of-the-art security systems on their online facilities. Cash ATM machines are also available in numerous locations in the country. These favorable conditions have contributed to the rising reputation of Panama as a secure offshore destination for investors and non-investors alike.

Panama banks that engage in offshore banking follow the guidelines of the Basle Committee on Banking Supervision. As such, they have one of the strictest banking and financial secrecy laws available in the world, possibly second just to Switzerland. You are provided with legal protection to your assets and your identity. Panama banks are not havens for money launderers as banking guidelines also prevent criminal banking activity. In fact, making substantial cash deposits to open an account is a warning flag for banks. These have resulted in a highly competitive, extremely confidential, well monitored, and highly secure offshore banking industry.

Indeed, Panama banks are part of the best business infrastructure in Latin America and in the Caribbean. In fact, a strong banking system is essential towards supporting a rapidly expanding economy that has outpaced its neighbors. With the US dollar as the official currency since 1904, there are no conversion or valuation concerns (Panama is the only country that has the exclusive right to use the U.S. Dollar as its par-value currency). This makes it easier for Panama banks to transact business with the rest of the international community. With the free flow of capital, an attractive monetary policy and a favorable legal environment, coupled with its geographic location and the growth of international markets, Panama banks continue to contribute to the republic's development as an international finance center.
About the Author
About the Author: Laurie Cooper, of Cpanama Real Estate Corp., is an expert on Panama real estate. For more information, please visit http://www.cpanama.com.
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