Obtaining a banking license in Panama | Law&Trust International

Banking license in Panama

The jurisdiction of Panama has many advantages for registering business in the sphere of financial activities.

The procedure for obtaining licenses for non-residents is being currently simplified in the country, however, strict selection is necessary to be passed before obtaining certificate. Indisputable advantages of this region are the following:

  • Using of English on a par with the state language (Spanish), which simplifies the interpretation of documents before filing;
  • Official currency of the state is balboa, but the US dollar is also in circulation, both currencies are equivalent to each other in value;
  • Offshore zone does not have specialized legislation, but laws are in effect in the country that facilitate prompt development of business.

It is possible to clarify the procedure of obtaining permission for banking activities in Panama by contacting the office of the company Law&Trust.

Our specialists provide free individual advice to clients on all issues related to registration, conducting and support of business abroad, including in Panama.

Requirements imposed on the "bank" for obtaining license in Panama

Types of licenses



Carrying out activities within and outside of Panama




Carrying out activities outside of Panama (office in Panama)


For representation


The right to represent the interests of the bank without conducting any activities/transactions


Minimum amount of the authorized capital 10 million $ 3 million $ _
Specific requirements
  • Confirmation of financial solvency of the bank's managers and shareholders;
  • Information about financial group to which the bank will belong;
  • Information about all the bank's participations/stakes/interest/shares in other legal entities (25% of ordinary / 10% of voting);
  • Audit reports (for 2 years), including financial statements (not older than 60 days) + Information on the auditor;
  • Submission of the Bank's Charter;
  • For foreign banks - statutory documents of such banks + information on their solvency and good standing.

Other general requirements


  1. Presentation of information on the status of shareholders (managers) of the bank;
  2. Confirmation / absence of objections by the national Central Bank to grant license in Panama to the bank;
  3. Business plan approved by bank managers;
  4. Information on the source of funds composing the authorized capital of the bank;
  5. The term for verification before the issue of license is 90 days;
  6. From the moment of issue of the license - the bank should begin activity within 6 months;
  7. Annual "confirmation" of the license;
  8.  If the Bank in Panama is a subsidiary of the foreign bank, the presence of 2 residents of Panama (1 citizen of Panama) acting as a bank agent is required;
  9. The license will not be granted to the bank, which managers: were held liable for money laundering, smuggling (weapons, drugs and people), corruption, etc .; are bankrupt or are engaged in litigation process regarding bankruptcy case;
  10.  The license is not submitted to corporations, the authorized capital of which is presented in full or in the part of "bearer stock".

Obtaining banking license in Panama online

The main advantage of cooperation of counterparties with our company is the absence of necessity to visit the office or foreign jurisdiction. Minimum list of documentation is required from the client, and the full package of official documents will be completed by the authorized lawyer on the basis of power of attorney, which shall be signed by the client.

All applicants need to be aware of the conditions for registering bank in Panama for preliminary reconciliation of their status with the state regulations

  • In order to obtain international license for conducting banking activities, capitalization of 3 million euros is required to be submitted. The amount is slightly higher than in other offshore zones, but the minimum balance to be maintained is equivalent to 250,000 euros. The remaining capital can be spent on development of the financial institution, payment of wages and other economic needs.

  • It is necessary to register new bank in the territory of Panama. In most jurisdictions, immediately after establishment of the head office, opening settlement account is required in one of the banks of the country. Financial institution can be selected by the counterparty or with the help of legal experts. However, Panama offers automatic registration of correspondent account in one of the main banks of the state.

  • The documentation package should be provided in English or Spanish. It should be borne in mind that most of the constituent forms should be interpreted on an ongoing basis, so when choosing language, one should invoke the preferences of the main target audience of the financial institution.

The cost of license for banking activity in Panama

Consideration of the application takes up to six months. The experts will take decision on the issuance of the certificate within 90 days of the delivery of the package of documents to the commission.

In order to avoid delays, our experts recommend to submit the most complete and reliable data on the company's activities, beneficial owners and the level of the corporation's economic security.

The cost of the package of services for obtaining banking license in Panama depends on the number of processes required to the client.

Price can not take into account all the details of the procedures, as well as reflect the full range of our services. The client should contact the lawyer directly through the site or by phone and he will estimate all the tasks within a short time.


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