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Banks in Panama

Panama is an international banking center. A law passed in 1998 modernized this sector and enhanced the Government's regulatory function. Banking institutions in Panama have strong ties to both Latin American and G7 countries. There are more than 120 banks in Panama City, making it a serious player in the international financial stage.

Panama's banking sector is one of the most dynamic areas of the economy. As of May 2003, Panama's 77 banks reported total deposits of $24 billion, and $33 billion in total assets, an eight percent decrease from 2002. In 2003, approximately five percent of the total credit portfolio represented loans to the public sector. Loans to the private sector in Panama reached US$11 billion, or 95 percent of total credit.

The banking legislation establishes three classes of operations. General license banks operate full service banks in Panama and compete for domestic deposits and loans (38 banks). International License or "Offshore" banks, can only accept deposits from persons or organizations located overseas (36 banks). Representative Offices can only perform representational activities (five banks). There are also two state-owned deposit-taking institutions. Foreign and Panamanian banks compete on equal terms. Banks are organized into two groups, the Panamanian Banking Association (Panamanian and Foreign Banks) and the Association of Panamanian Banks (only Panamanians banks). Banks are licensed and regulated by the Banking Supervisory Authority (Superintendencia de Bancos). Panama's banking system does not have a deposit insurance scheme.

Here is some contact information for the most important banks in Panama:

OFFICIAL BANKS

BANK TEL # WEBSITE
Banco Nacional de Panamá 205-2000 www.banconal.com.pa
Caja de Ahorros 205-1000 www.cajadeahorros.com.pa

GENERAL LICENSE BANKS*

BANK TEL # WEBSITE
BAC Bank 206-2719 www.bac.net
Bancafé 264-6066 www.bancafe-pa.com
Banco Alemán Platina 303-7000 www.bancoalemanplatina.com
Banco de Bogotá 208-1111 www.bancodebogotainternacional.com
Banco de la Nación Argentina 269-4666 ----------------
Banco de la Provincia de Buenos Aires 215-7703 www.bpba.com.ar
Banco del Pichincha Limited Panamá 264-7448 ----------------
Banco do Brasil 263-6566 www.bb.com.br
Bancolombia 263-6955 www.bancolombiapanama.com
Banesco International Bank 269-3301 www.banesco.com
GNB Sudameris Bank 206-6900 www.gnbsudameris.com
Popular Bank 269-4166 www.pbt.com.pa
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