Dealing in banks in Panama is not a favorite activity for foreign residents. But good news: there is one bank that excels at serving the foreign resident community. Many years ago a board member at the American Chamber of Commerce recommended Scotia Bank to us. Shortly thereafter we opened a savings account and got a home mortgage from Scotia. I did not consider putting my bank accounts because their one Panama City branch was far from where we lived. But Scotia recently opened a branch near where we live. I am now switching 3 of our checking accounts to Scotia. I made this decision after having one too many problems with my current bank and not wanting to stand in long lines anymore.
It has been a pleasure to open up these accounts at Scotia. They were geniunely happy to have my business, the personnel was competent and helpful. I speak Spanish but they were ready and willing to speak to me in English if necessary. I was able to set up my new bank account in less than a week with no hassles whatsoever.
Scotia was recently named “One of the top 10 most stable banks in the world” according to the Toronto Financial Post. It’ growing by leaps and bounds in a number of Latin American countries like Mexico. In Panama, Scotia has several branches in Panama City and also one in Boquete.
Scotia accounts can of course be seen online but it will be another year before you can make utility and other payments from your Scotia Bank online account, so I am keeping one account in my old bank until this service is offered. I am told that Scotia will offer credit cards in a year as well.
Why Buy Real Estate in
Who is investing in
In an April 2009 article in New York Times, Sam Taliaferro, an American developer in
“We’ve certainly seen a slow down in for homes in the $200,000 range. But we’ve seen a pickup in another market. The market we’re seeing now is a market of wealthy individuals who are looking for safety. They’re looking for a safe haven. They want to park their assets somewhere else because they see a train coming down the tracks.
They’re also looking for what would be a second home that will become a primary home. They’ll make this their primary home and be a resident outside the country and maybe keep a home in the
Real estate investments in
One cautionary note is the
The strong Panamanian business sector including an international banking sector of over 100 banks, is solid having not made the mistakes of its of the banks up North.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to visit the Cielo Paraiso Residential and Golf community just outside the town of Boquete to see the progress they have made. I was quite impressed. Cielo Paraiso is set on 300 hectares of beautiful natural settings of soft rolling hills with majestic mountain surroundings. A number of handsome homes are already now buil. Tthe owners, Canadians Radeep and Colleen Lal tell me 60% of the first phase is sole. I toured several homes and met the happy residents. The homes are beautifully crafted with all the latest things including one home what had a pizza oven in its chimney. Each luxury home has a large terrace with vast mountain views -you can even see the Pacific Ocean. The temperature is so perfect that no one needs air conditioning. Homesites are large for maximum privacy, serenity, and comfort.
The day I visited they were celebrating the soft opening of the first 9 holes of their golf course and the club house. The golf course has a rolling course with ponds, and amazing 365 degree views of mountains and even the Pacific Ocean. The next 9 holes will open in the next 6 months- this championship course is designed by J. Michael Poellot. Cielo Paraiso owners envisioned a Paradise where residents could feel surrounded by and close to nature and enjoy a luxury home and total safety. Congrats to Cielo Paraiso because this is what they have already accomplished.