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Nitzia Chifundo of Panama Sol Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Banks in Panama are for sure safe. There are many local and international banks that have been established for years. It is important to have a bank account set up to do any type of transaction here, but I would strongly advise to go with one of the big and reputable ones that have branches and ATM everywhere.  It will just make it more simpler.
 
David Btesh of Pacific Realty / Pacific Developers – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Bank of China logo – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanamanian banks are strong, very safe, and very liquid.
 
The banks here in Panama are much smaller than the banks in the US, but they are stronger because the banks here are more liquid.  Every month, the bank supervisor checks the liquidity of every bank in Panama.  The supervisors examine each bank’s portfolio.  If they find a problem, they tell the bank to fix the problem in some period of time (for example, 30 days), and if the bank does not comply, they fine the bank or close it down.  Panama is a very small country where the supervisors are there around the corner.
 
Panama has 110 banks, but not all of them are Panamanian banks. Approximately half of them are major international banks, for example, Bank of China, Bank of America, and Citibank. We have most of the major banks in the world right here in Panama now, and there are more banks coming in. When the Canal expansion is complete, there are going to be a lot new businesses, and banks want to be in on that.  The banks lend money that winds up in the local economy, and the companies deposit their money in US dollars in the Republic of Panama, contributing to our financial strength.
 
Panama does not have FDIC insurance, but I’m sure that the superintendents review the banks in order to protect your money.  In the last few years, one of the banks was sold because of that, and everybody got their money.  I can’t remember any time when any depositor lost any money.
 
Many international banks chose to locate in Panama for several reasons.  We have very good electronic communication because the cable that runs under the sea ends and starts here. We have very good air communication because you could be here in Panama from quite a few countries in the world within 8 hours and from the United States within three hours. The money we use is US dollars. We don’t print money so we cannot inflate our currency like any other Latin country. We are backed by the US dollar, which means whatever happens in the United States happens here, although our economy is different than the United States.  Using the US dollar is a very large advantage, because importers and exporters buy goods US dollars and hold their money in our local banks in US dollars without fear of currency fluctuations.   
 
(Bank of China logo, pictured.)
Sieg Pedde of Helix Courier Limited – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I agree with other posters here that banks in Panama are safe.  And there are a lot of them.  On one stroll through Panama City several years ago, I saw so many banks that I decided to photograph them and string them together into a video you can see on my Marketplace listing.
 
For Canadians, there are branches of Scotiabank.  For ex-pats from other countries, chances are that a bank you are familiar with has branches in Panama, too.
Albert Obbens – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Safe banks, well the past five years have shown that America's largest banks, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., were taking advantage of people within the US and investors like insurance companies and banks from many places in the world, especially Europe. Misinformation or straight fraud have been seen and is still under investigation. Safe banks, if you had more than $100,000 in the bank, you could have or maybe have lost all above that sum. The economies in Europe are in a terrible state because of just this. The Icelantic bank went bottom up, but as many European governments have a guarantee system, most normal savers were compensated.
 
Now about Panama banks. One just went bankrupt and after a long fight by our office, they paid out 70% of the capital from one of our clients. Lucky because we counted on zero. The problem? This bank offered 8% interest! No government bail-out, no guarantees, no FDIC. It does not help to choose a foreign bank either as they follow Panamanian law. So, are Panamanian banks in general safe?  Yes, they are as they in most cases have enough capital, but don't put all of your capital in just one bank. Leave what you don't need elsewhere. Don't trust banks that offer much more interest than others.  Once you have an account with a bank, ask for certified copies of all of your documents and open an account in another bank as well. Most secure: Global Bank, Multibank, Banco General and Scotia Bank. Success.
 
GISELLE SOCARRAZ of Real Estate Chiriqui – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panamanian banks are among the safest in the world. Their best attribute (in my humble opinion) is their loyalty to their customers. I use both Banco Nacional and Scotia, and their accountants are willing to work with you at anytime, on anything and always with a smile.

Believe me: that is a rare thing to see in today's world.
 
Bonnie Williams of Fundacion Bid 4 Bouquete – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Money held in a Panamanian bank is not insured; there is no equivalent of the FDIC. Funds are generally safe, however, because Panamanian banks take few risks. To obtain a credit card, for example, an amount equal to one's credit maximum must be kept on deposit, and mortgages require life insurance on the mortgagee. Funds in the bank earn higher interest than they do in the U.S., but having $10,000 or more in a Panamanian bank at any time during a year triggers the necessity for a U.S. citizen to file a form with the I.R.S. reporting those deposits.
 
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panamanian banks are considered among the safest in the world.  Their money laundry controls are extremely enforced, and the accounts of foreign applicants are carefully reviewed with documentation.  Many of the most recognized worldwide banks are established in Panama, offering different options for current, saving, loan, mortgage or investment plans.   State banks, like Banco Nacional and Caja de Ahorros  are very safe and competitive.  They comply with all the international laws and agreements.
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The banks here in Panama are stable, probably a lot healthier than most places in the current European and American climate. Interest rates are much higher than Europe and America too. Around 4% on a 5 year CD. This can vary and also can be negotiated for larger sum investments. A bit of a rigmarole in getting one opened but once done it is pretty smooth. No one can definitively state absolute safety these days but they are in good shape at the moment.

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