Advisory

Unlawful banking business: Engaging in the Banking Business without a license; using of the word "Bank" or its derivatives without authorization from the Superintendency, and collecting resources from the public without authorization from competent authority:

The Superintendency of Banks of the Republic of Panama advises the general Public that the persons and/or companies included in the following list do not hold a Banking License to engage in the banking business within or from the Republic of Panama. Neither are these persons and/or companies authorized to use the word “bank” or its derivatives in any language within the Republic of Panama.

Only banks holding a Banking License granted by the Superintendency of Banks are authorized to engage in the Banking business in or from the Republic of Panama. (For further information on Banks authorized to engage in the banking business in or from the Republic of Panama, please click on the following link:
Authorized Banks

Excluded from this regulation are:

  • National institutions and groups dedicated only to humanitarian or charitable activities;
  • Government entities engaged in providing social interest loans by sector;
  • Multilateral and international organizations recognized by the Republic of Panama. (Art. 44 of the Banking Law).

Companies or persons engaging in the banking business without the required license or illegally collecting financial resources from the public will be subject to the sanctions established in Articles 45, 185 and 186 of the Banking Law. The above does not preclude the imposition of sanctions set forth in Article 248 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Panama.

It is worth mentioning that the Paragraph in Article 2 of the Banking Law forbids any person to raise funds directly or indirectly from the general public in or from the Republic of Panama, in deposits or in any other form, unless:

  • That person holds a license or authorization for this activity issued by a competent legal authority or regulatory entity, or
  • That person is engaged in fundraising activities expressly exempt by law from any requirement for licensing, regulation or authorization. The Superintendency is authorized to examine books, accounts and documents in order to determine compliance with this provision

Trust Business in or from the Republic of Panama

Only persons or legal entities authorized by the Superintendency and that have been granted a Trust License may engage regularly and professionally in the Trust Business in or from the Republic of Panama. For further information on the entities that hold a Trust License, please click on the following link: Directory of Trust Companies

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