Published and draft legislation - Panama

Improper use of banking and trust services

Resolution 013-2018 Banking Authority

At the end of 2018, Panama's Banking Authority (SBP) passed Resolution 013-2018 which incorporates certain areas covered in the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)'s 40 recommendations into Resolution 010-2015 on the prevention of the improper use of banking and trust services, and widens the scope of application for simplified Due Diligence.

To this end, bearing in mind the requirement to implement measures combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism incumbent on banks and other subjects overseen by the SBP, Agreement 013-2018 makes the following amendments:

Customer profile for natural persons

Customer recommendations and referrals have been eliminated: banking reference of the client and/or final beneficiary, a personal or commercial reference supplied by firms, vendors or information bureaus, such as the Panamanian Credit Association (APC) database.

To configure the client's transaction profile, it will now be mandatory to inspect their financial information and to provide an analysis of the amount and volume of transactions in their file (whether physical or digital), thereby establishing the expected monthly or annual transaction profile for the client when they onboard. Financial transactions conducted by the client must be tracked throughout the contractual relationship, verifying that there are no inconsistencies with the profile built at the outset.

Customer profile for legal persons

Customer recommendation and referrals have been eliminated: in the same terms as those applying to natural persons (banking reference, final beneficiary, commercial references, suppliers, information bureaus).

Simplified Due Diligence

The only occasions on which Simplified Due Diligence may be applied have been specified and added to the resolution:

  • Simplified accounts, according to the parameters set out in Resolution 1-2013.
  • Christmas accounts.
  • Accounts with the sole purpose of paying payrolls.
  • School or educational savings accounts (to be cashed out within a specific time frame) or savings accounts opened for minors or their legal guardians.
  • Savings accounts for the payment by the Panamanian Government of subsidies or social welfare programs.
  • Current accounts or natural persons' savings accounts containing sums that at no time exceed five thousand dollars (USD 5,000).
  • Savings or current accounts opened for the sole purpose of handling B2B or B2C transactions through electronic wallets.
  • Accounts that have been opened for withholding real-estate tax.
  • Any other low-risk product, after approval from the SBP.

Banking groups

The Resolution establishes that, in alignment with FATF guidelines, banking groups regulated by the SBP must develop corporate policies and procedures to combat money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, including:

  • Group-level policies and procedures to manage risk and prevent money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • Policies and procedures for intra-group information exchange to prevent money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
  • The necessary criteria that members of the banking group must adopt to ensure high standards when hiring employees and appointing board members and senior management.
  • Training programs for combating money laundering, the financing of terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

The agreement also contains a template of the sworn revenue statement so that regulated parties can more easily comply with their obligations.