Friday, 27 November 2020

Panama Banks Must Identify Owners of Corporations

Panama financial district. Source:
Panama financial district. Source:

TODAY PANAMA – The Superintendency of Banks has established an obligation for banks to identify the ultimate beneficiaries of corporations that are their clients.

From the order published in the Official Newspaper, La Gaceta:

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For the purposes stated in Article 4 paragraph 1, letter g of Agreement No. 12-2005. the bank must ensure the ultimate beneficiary or identify the true owner of a legal person. In the case of corporations, banks must request the documents evidencing the name of the natural person identified as the beneficial owner and holder of the share certificates of the corporation considering the percentages established in the General Resolution Board SBP -GJD-0004-2014 of January 28, 2014.

Last month,  the Superintendency of Banks added special reviews of financial institutions announcing that fines for infringers will reach up to US$1 million.

“We inform you that starting from November 18, 2014, we are operating a special program of inspections of banks, in order to verify compliance with the established regime to prevent services being improperly used for the offense of money laundering, financing terrorism and other related crimes or those of a similar nature or origin. This program is an additional measure to the inspections made by the Superintendency, ” said the  Superintendency.

According to the Superintendency, all banks and trust companies have to take into account the importance of meeting their obligations with respect to due diligence with customers, they must know the source and origin of the resources used by them, in all cases. In the case of politically exposed persons (PEP) they must make sure they establish appropriate risk management systems and carry out a deeper due diligence as required by Articles 4 and 5 of the Agreement 12-2005 on the “Misuse of banking and trust services.”

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