Opening a Bank Account in Peru

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Opening a Bank Account in Peru

Postby Hope » Sat Jan 08, 2011 12:18 pm

Hello everybody,

Happy New Year!

I’m having a bit of trouble opening a bank account here in Lima. Most banks require a passport and the carnet extranjeria, which I don’t have.

In some branches of Interbank they only ask for my passport and another ID containing a photo. Do you guys have any suggestions as to how/where I can get an authoritative ID with my picture in it (I don’t have a driver’s license)? I would like to avoid applying for the Carnet Extranjeria as it takes so long to obtain it. The bureaucracy is starting to get to me.


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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby sunflower » Sat Jan 08, 2011 6:17 pm

I'm not sure how it works in the US, but normally next to your passport you should have some sort of a national ID card. This should do the trick. Or try any card with a photo of you and your name on it, like for example students ID, your health insurance card, membership card for your library or whatever, .....
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Kelly » Sat Jan 08, 2011 7:28 pm

No, there is no national ID card in the US. Usually, a drivers license suffices as ID, but if you don't have one, Sunshine's other suggestions might work. You can also keep trying different branches of interbank - the rules seem to be pretty bendy.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Hope » Sat Jan 08, 2011 11:33 pm

Thanks for helping out, both of you. But the problem is I simply don't have any ID with a photo, except my passport.

So my question is -does anybody know of a sports club or some sort of membership where such an ID is issued? I really need to sort this out as fast as possible, as I'm losing money and valuable time every day by not having a bank account out here.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby euroman » Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:08 pm

Get a Peruvian driving licence. It`s easy and costs 65 soles.
You just have to attend 2 days the charlas. Sit a very easy written exam at the end followed by a 5 minutes practical driving exam and you`ve got your second photo ID you want.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Xibalba » Sun Jan 09, 2011 9:16 pm

Hope, if you are from the US (not sure) I believe you can get a non-driver's license ID card. It's basically a substitute for a national ID card, in a country which doesn't issue national ID cards. It's to help folks in your situation. I believe you can do get more information about it through your local DMV.

You could also apply for the CLEAR air passenger program (www.clearme.com), which I have had since it first began. It's under new ownership now, so I don't know how long it takes to get the card, but it features a photo and biometric data. You have to undergo a TSA/FBI background check to get it, but that carries (a little) more weight than a gym membership. I have used it as a secondary ID a few times when I didn't have anything else handy.

Bank of America also has credit cards you can get with your photo on it. I don't recommend BOA for anything, but in this case, maybe getting the card for that purpose is worthwhile. You can cut it in half after you're sorted out in Peru.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby markr » Mon Jan 10, 2011 9:54 am

euroman wrote:Get a Peruvian driving licence. It`s easy and costs 65 soles.
You just have to attend 2 days the charlas. Sit a very easy written exam at the end followed by a 5 minutes practical driving exam and you`ve got your second photo ID you want.


To Legally obtain a Peruvian driving licence as a non citizen, I think you'll find there's a requirement to hold a CE.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby DC_20833 » Tue Jan 11, 2011 2:22 am

Try Interbank on Dos de Mayo inside Vivandia I had no trouble opening an account with just a Passport and an utility bill.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Globetrotter » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:02 am

NO BIG DEAL AT INTERBANK
Go to the main branch on Javier Prado & Expressway (Lg building with what looks like a helipad on top sticking out of building).

It took me 15 minutes with just my Passport & NY Drivers license (YOU DO NOT NEED PERUVIAN ID OR LICENSE). I opened a Millionario savings account (ahorros) depositing just USD$100 which you can withdraw after they give you a debit VISA card on the spot, which can be used to make purchases anywhere in the world that accepts Visa. NO PERUVIAN CE NEEDED!!
But I do recommend you get the additional Insurance protection against theft or ID fraud because unlike in the US, here it is not automatically provided by the banks. This way you are protected

I recieve bi-weekly transfers into my account within 1 hour pof being sent from the US. Can't be any easier. Just remember that here, the banks charge your account everytime you use the card for purchases and when you withdraw money from ATM or the teller, they have some rediculous small TAX charges when you do this, otherwise it is a great bank wiith branches everywhere. Also let them know you will be using the card out of the country so that you are not blocked ( for security reasons) just when you need it most. In addition, most banks here only allow withdrawl after 6:00 pm to $300 also for security, during the day you can take out any amount from the teller and I believe the max of $600 from the ATM.

Hope this helps
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Kelly » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:20 am

I guess you missed the point - the problem is the lack of a US drivers license.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Globetrotter » Thu Jan 13, 2011 11:26 am

Kelly wrote:I guess you missed the point - the problem is the lack of a US drivers license.


Sorry
Actually, they will accept just about anything with photo as 2nd ID
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby markr » Thu Jan 13, 2011 1:09 pm

Globetrotter wrote:
Kelly wrote:I guess you missed the point - the problem is the lack of a US drivers license.


Sorry
Actually, they will accept just about anything with photo as 2nd ID


True.
Before I got my CE I opened an account at interbank in San Miguel, I used my old photo check from my previous employers as 2nd ID. They couldn't have a had a clue about its authenticity.
With that in mind euroman might tell you that all you need to do is go down town and get a fake made up.
I of course would never dream of doing such a thing.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Kelly » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:08 pm

Who needs to go downtown if you have a computer and a printer? :twisted:

In all seriousness, when you DO get a bank account, you'll need to always use that same piece of ID when you bank. When I lost my wallet, one branch of Interbank wouldn't let me do anything without my passport, which I had used to create the account. Unfortunately, my passport had also been lost. They would not accept the photocopy of my passport. Another branch of Interbank, fortunately, was happy to accept the photocopy, and I had them add my CE on as an acceptable form of ID.

Bizarre to me, especially since the CE has the passport number on it.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby iron butterfly » Thu Jan 13, 2011 2:14 pm

And Euroman would not be too far off track and a good idea.
Why not go downtown get an ID made with up your photo and your name. Take it along with your passport to a notary and get something official stamped on saying "yep that's you" on the id.
I too have used a work id from the USA. It gave me the feeling any picture id would work.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby roddd » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:41 pm

All i used was my passport and a photocopy of my passport
and $100 to open an account with interbank in Miraflores
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby goingnowherefast » Thu Jan 13, 2011 6:46 pm

I don't think it's a good idea to give fake ID to a bank. Chances are it would be ok, but who knows, 6 months down the road they could close your account with money in it and say it's because it was opened with false ID. Try to open an account at 5 interbank branches with a passport and a few hundred bucks and I am sure one of them will do it.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby alan » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:22 pm

goingnowherefast wrote:I don't think it's a good idea to give fake ID to a bank. Chances are it would be ok, but who knows, 6 months down the road they could close your account with money in it and say it's because it was opened with false ID. Try to open an account at 5 interbank branches with a passport and a few hundred bucks and I am sure one of them will do it.


A friend on a tourist visa just tried to open an account at Interbank and was turned away. The staff person told us that head office had recently circulated a memo instructing all agencies to ask non-Peruvians for a Carnet de extranjeria.

I was sorry to hear that, since most people who eventually move here come in first as tourists and need to move money around. This will make relocating in Peru that much harder.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby euroman » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:30 pm

Alan wrote:
goingnowherefast wrote:


A friend on a tourist visa just tried to open an account at Interbank and was turned away. The staff person told us that head office had recently circulated a memo instructing all agencies to ask non-Peruvians for a Carnet de extranjeria.

I was sorry to hear that, since most people who eventually move here come in first as tourists and need to move money around. This will make relocating in Peru that much harder.


I opened last week an cuenta movil with INTERBANK in Magdalena Del Mar and didn`t have any problems.
Just my passport and Peruvian drivers licence.
I don´t have a CE.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby euroman » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:32 pm

Alan wrote:
goingnowherefast wrote:


A friend on a tourist visa just tried to open an account at Interbank and was turned away. The staff person told us that head office had recently circulated a memo instructing all agencies to ask non-Peruvians for a Carnet de extranjeria.

I was sorry to hear that, since most people who eventually move here come in first as tourists and need to move money around. This will make relocating in Peru that much harder.


I opened last week an cuenta movil with INTERBANK in Magdalena Del Mar and didn`t have any problems.
Just my passport and Peruvian drivers licence.
I don´t have a CE.

Alan, I think your friend went to INTERBANK at Miraflores.
I went there in the past trying to open an account and they also asked for a CE.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby alan » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:52 pm

euroman wrote:
I opened last week an cuenta movil with INTERBANK in Magdalena Del Mar and didn`t have any problems.
Just my passport and Peruvian drivers licence.
I don´t have a CE.

Alan, I think your friend went to INTERBANK at Miraflores.
I went there in the past trying to open an account and they also asked for a CE.


You are right, the branch we tried was in Miraflores.

The lady mentioned that it was a very recent memo, so maybe you got in under the wire, or maybe you just got lucky. Anyway.. good for you. Life is so much simpler with a bank account.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Remigius » Mon Mar 14, 2011 4:56 pm

The other day I was at BBVA to get some info for opening an account and on the paper I got it read:

Documento Original de identidad de los firmantes, (DNI, Carné de Extranjería ó Pasaporte)


A few items later it read:

Para extranjeros que utilicen pasaporte como documento de identidad, presentación de documento que acredite la calidad migratoria que lo acredite para realizar dicho acto.


To me, the CE is the only way, but perhaps there are other ways. If not, why mention passport as an option?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby happyfeet1 » Sat Apr 16, 2011 11:19 pm

Im gonna try to open up a bank account at interbank with just a passport & driver's license... Hopefully it will work as I'm in desperate need of a bank account. Anyway I have another question. The other requirement I believe is a utility bill. I live with my girlfriend & the house we are in is rented under her mom's name. So what do I do if my name is not on the utility bill? So anyone know how that works? Is there anyway to have my name added to the utility bill or something?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby markr » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:03 am

happyfeet1 wrote:Im gonna try to open up a bank account at interbank with just a passport & driver's license... Hopefully it will work as I'm in desperate need of a bank account. Anyway I have another question. The other requirement I believe is a utility bill. I live with my girlfriend & the house we are in is rented under her mom's name. So what do I do if my name is not on the utility bill? So anyone know how that works? Is there anyway to have my name added to the utility bill or something?


It's no problem, just explain that the property is rented, and the name on the bill is that of the landlord.
I didn't have a problem with interbank in San Miguel having been refused the opportunity of opening accounts at other banks.
Do bear in mind though that as far as I am aware it's technically illegal and different branches have different perspectives on the rules, so although everyone will tell you to go to Interbank, the one on the corner of your block might not allow you yo open an account, so you might have to shop around.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Gary » Sun Apr 17, 2011 11:13 am

Alan wrote:
goingnowherefast wrote:I don't think it's a good idea to give fake ID to a bank. Chances are it would be ok, but who knows, 6 months down the road they could close your account with money in it and say it's because it was opened with false ID. Try to open an account at 5 interbank branches with a passport and a few hundred bucks and I am sure one of them will do it.


A friend on a tourist visa just tried to open an account at Interbank and was turned away. The staff person told us that head office had recently circulated a memo instructing all agencies to ask non-Peruvians for a Carnet de extranjeria.

I was sorry to hear that, since most people who eventually move here come in first as tourists and need to move money around. This will make relocating in Peru that much harder.


I opened an account at Interbank before I got my CE, all that was required was my passport and US drivers license. A Peruvian bank account is mandatory before a CE is issued, if the rules have changed and if the Interbank now requires a CE, how could anyone get a CE? Maybe this will be another Peruvian catch-22.

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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby leoo24 » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:05 pm

Hi guys,

first post here.

married to a peruvian, looking to move here sometime in the next couple of years.

came over for easter to open an account and found the same problem being a tourist i couldn't open an account, but i could open one fine in HSBC with a "special stamp to sign contracts" from migraciones on my passport, piece of cake, took a few hours waiting in lines at migraciones but was pretty easy to do. I do speak fluent spanish however as i've currently lived in spain for 30 years.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby adrian Thorne » Tue Apr 26, 2011 10:27 pm

I find it all rather pointless and an unneccesary expence, moving money at a price from one country to another to withdraw at ATM's etc.
I do have a dollar savings account opened at HSBC with passport and the receipt from my CE application, but rarely use it. All cash withdraws are from my UK bank direct and coupled with a very small fixed monthly fee I do not pay any charges at what ever bank I use to withdraw.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby leoo24 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:49 am

Depends on your needs! personally i'll be opening a business in peru so need an account for money earned in peru :)
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby happyfeet1 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:23 am

As a follow to my post a couple of weeks ago. I successfully opened a Peruvian bank account at the Interbank near the US embassy. All that was needed was a passport & driver's license. No utility bill needed, just had to give them a local address. On the contract I signed I was listed as an extranjero sin residencia so it seems pretty clear that it is standard Interbank policy to allow foreigners to open up a bank account even without a carneta.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby teamoperu » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:11 am

well, i just heard wih the new anti'drug law, foreigners cannot have bank accounts now, need a DNI or CE... true?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby markr » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:21 am

teamoperu wrote:well, i just heard wih the new anti'drug law, foreigners cannot have bank accounts now, need a DNI or CE... true?


I was in my branch of Interbank only yesterday, where I had previously opened my account with a passport, asking about the possibility of a friend of mine doing the same when he arrives in the next few weeks. The answer was a definIte NO. The rules have now changed.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby carloseduardo » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:51 pm

It appears to me that Banco Falabella allows a person to open an account only with their passport. Does anyone know if this is correct or not? Does anyone know what documents are required at Banco Falabella? Thanks....
Thanks!
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Alpineprince » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:27 pm

markr wrote:
teamoperu wrote:well, i just heard wih the new anti'drug law, foreigners cannot have bank accounts now, need a DNI or CE... true?


I was in my branch of Interbank only yesterday, where I had previously opened my account with a passport, asking about the possibility of a friend of mine doing the same when he arrives in the next few weeks. The answer was a definIte NO. The rules have now changed.

A friend of mine was just informed that his account at interbank will be closed in 3 mos, IF HE DOES NOT GET A CE.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby goingnowherefast » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:57 pm

AlpinePrince - Is this actually true? Or is this, like many of your past posts, you just having a little fun? I don't have a CE and I haven't received anything saying that my accounts will be closed.

Can anyone verify this info?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby adrian Thorne » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:09 am

markr wrote:
teamoperu wrote:well, i just heard wih the new anti'drug law, foreigners cannot have bank accounts now, need a DNI or CE... true?


I was in my branch of Interbank only yesterday, where I had previously opened my account with a passport, asking about the possibility of a friend of mine doing the same when he arrives in the next few weeks. The answer was a definIte NO. The rules have now changed.


Checked with Banco Continental and HSBC They confirm. " No CE or DNI No Account." They are in the process of sending out three month warning notices for closure or varification of status. "Manana". Notices have already been posted at Telifonica.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby sunflower » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:37 am

No CE or DNI, No Account and not even a stupid prepaid telephone. Can anyone explain to me why?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby rama0929 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:46 am

sunflower wrote:No CE or DNI, No Account and not even a stupid prepaid telephone. Can anyone explain to me why?


Seems that there are some new anti-drug laws as per a post on the prior page... I'm curious to see what effect this will have.

As per the prepaid phones, does this mean that I won't be greeted by chicas in spandex representing Peru Rent a Cell at the airport?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby rama0929 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:47 am

adrian Thorne wrote:
markr wrote:
teamoperu wrote:well, i just heard wih the new anti'drug law, foreigners cannot have bank accounts now, need a DNI or CE... true?


I was in my branch of Interbank only yesterday, where I had previously opened my account with a passport, asking about the possibility of a friend of mine doing the same when he arrives in the next few weeks. The answer was a definIte NO. The rules have now changed.


Checked with Banco Continental and HSBC They confirm. " No CE or DNI No Account." They are in the process of sending out three month warning notices for closure or varification of status. "Manana". Notices have already been posted at Telifonica.


Is HSBC staying? I thought they were pulling out of Peru?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby teamoperu » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:48 am

Right, stupid. I mean, for the telephone just get someone with a DNI or CE to get it for you... most drug lords probably already have their phone in someone elses name anyway.

The bank account problem is harder. We need to find creative solutions. What about joint accounts? Is one DNI good enough? Other possible solutions out there?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Kelly » Wed Jun 22, 2011 8:52 am

I'm so glad I registered my CE with Interbank a few months ago.

While I understand this is mostly a anti-drug trafficking measure, between this and the home visits to foreigners it sounds like the country is starting to make life a little difficult for "tourists" that never leave.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby rama0929 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:17 am

Kelly wrote:While I understand this is mostly a anti-drug trafficking measure, between this and the home visits to foreigners it sounds like the country is starting to make life a little difficult for "tourists" that never leave.


Good for them. Wanna play, you gotta play by the rules.

And those who don't, it's good to know the rules, in case you need to break or selectively interpret them :twisted:
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby teamoperu » Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:39 am

Kelly wrote:I'm so glad I registered my CE with Interbank a few months ago.

While I understand this is mostly a anti-drug trafficking measure, between this and the home visits to foreigners it sounds like the country is starting to make life a little difficult for "tourists" that never leave.


and for visitors that do leave, who are getting caught in the cross fire
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Alpineprince » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:27 am

goingnowherefast wrote:AlpinePrince - Is this actually true? Or is this, like many of your past posts, you just having a little fun? I don't have a CE and I haven't received anything saying that my accounts will be closed.

Can anyone verify this info?

My friend, who has had the account here for many years (does not live here) only received the news as he happened to be "passing thru" Lima headed to Colombia. It was only a coincidence that he happened to go into the branch last week and was given notice. Two months ago they closed his account in Bolivia (same reason) and now his Belgian account is under review as well.

Another friend (only visits a few times a year) has an online account with BCP (was here last week) and has not heard a word about account closings!

Regardless, with the HIRE ACT in 2013 most banks would find it easier and less costly to close accounts of foreigners than to comply with reporting requirements.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby rama0929 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 10:57 am

Alpineprince wrote:Regardless, with the HIRE ACT in 2013 most banks would find it easier and less costly to close accounts of foreigners than to comply with reporting requirements.


What are they going to do with the money from these closed accts?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby goingnowherefast » Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:55 am

I suppose Peruvian banks are finally catching up with other banks of the world in anti-money laundering policies. I guess the banks have a deadline to get all the accounts legal by - I wonder when that deadline is. I'm not in Peru at the moment but I have all my mail going to my wife's family's and I haven't received anything talking about account closures.

For those that have received letters - can anyone tell me what the date is they want everything to be legal by?

I know a lot of foreigners have accounts in Peruvian banks and I also know many don't have CE's. Just the rumors and the word of mouth alone that are going to come as a result from these letters are going to scare a lot of people and the banks and Peruvian industry in general are going to loose massive amounts of money. My accounts are in the process of being empties and I'm sure many others are doing the same.

I wonder if these are Ollanta inspired policies beginning to take place...
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby rama0929 » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:05 pm

goingnowherefast wrote:I wonder if these are Ollanta inspired policies beginning to take place...


I was under the impression that these policies were inspired by Garcia? Especially if these are AML related policies?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby goingnowherefast » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:44 pm

I think the AML stuff is the world's banks putting pressure on Peru to clean its act up or else they will cut them off from their system and not allow the banks of the developed world to do business with them and not any particular politician. We're not even sure these are AML policies anyways.

My comment was more referring to the sudden difficulties for foreigners in Peru, the foreigner police or whatever they're called interviews, account closures, etc. Seems like all of the sudden somebody isn't happy about foreigners in Peru.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Kelly » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:55 pm

I don't think it has anything to do with Humala; these things have been going on since a while before the election.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby Polaron » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:22 pm

adrian Thorne wrote:I find it all rather pointless and an unneccesary expence, moving money at a price from one country to another to withdraw at ATM's etc.
I do have a dollar savings account opened at HSBC with passport and the receipt from my CE application, but rarely use it. All cash withdraws are from my UK bank direct and coupled with a very small fixed monthly fee I do not pay any charges at what ever bank I use to withdraw.


Adrian, if you withdraw cash from your UK account at local ATMs, are you charged the dreaded foreign transaction fee so loved by Visa and MasterCard? It does not show up as a separate fee; it is simply added to your withdrawal amount. For example, if you withdraw 700 soles at an exchange rate of S/. 2.75, you will actually be charged an exchange rate of S/ 2.75 less one, two or three percent, depending upon your bank. That means when you check the amount showing up as a withdrawal on your bank statement and calculate the exchange rate, it will end up being something along the lines of S/. 2,669902912621359 if your bank tacks on 2% to the 1% that MasterCard or Visa charge. If you are fortunate, neither your bank nor the local bank charges an additional fee simply for using the ATM.

I say this because the foreign transaction fee is invisible and is quietly tacked on without any advance notice given to customers, except in a sub-paragraph of a long prospectus that 99% of the people do not read anyway.

Last year, I switched banks. I had been using a different U.S. bank that tacked on 2% to the MasterCard/Visa transaction fee, as well as charging me $1.50 U.S. for each ATM transaction. I felt relieved in Lima, because the local ATM did not charge me a fee, while in Santiago de Chile, I paid the dollar fifty, 3% and then $2,000 pesos CLP (four dollars) to the local machine per pop. Ouch. When I separated out and tallied up my banking fees, I was shelling out $55 in fees and 3% of my withdrawals and transactions every month - well over $100 dlls every month.

Now my fees are a lot lower as my current bank (USAA) does not tack on a commission to the 1% charged by MC/Visa. Still, I think the foreign transaction fees, regardless of amount, are abusive.
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby goingnowherefast » Wed Jun 29, 2011 6:45 pm

Just following up from last week... no letter received talking about account closures. Can anyone verify this - has anyone actually received the letters themselves?
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Re: Opening a Bank Account

Postby DEANFEB » Wed Jun 29, 2011 7:57 pm

Can anyone really verify this? actually receive notices? I was in Interbank June 1st at Carlos Villaran, the huge Interbank building and opened an USD Ahorra Empresario with just my Passport and driver's Licence, no one there told me anything about closing accounts?

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