A few basic requirements for opening a bank account here in Panama.
1) Personal interview with the Branch Manager after you have all of the required documentation collected.
2) Original Passport (the bank will photocopy every individual page)
3) At least one banking reference from your home country. If you have only one banking reference, there should be a letter stating a long-term relationship with this bank.
4) At least one personal reference letter (friends, coworkers, etc.). I was told at my bank that it is often easier if you can provide Panamanian references who speak spanish, as the interviewers are better equiped to verify, but this isn't mandatory. Letters must include a contact phone number.
5) Business reference letter (job letter). If you are retired, the bank will want a letter from the last place you worked to verify retirement.
6) Reference letter from Panamanian attorney. In most banks, you will have to own or a very least, rent real estate here in Panama, OR, have some sort of immigration status, so you should have an attorney that you used when you drew contracts or started your immigration process.
7) You will have to provide a brief description of your background, and recent and current activities. This is usually done by a form that the bank has on-hand.
8) The bank reserves the right to request any additional information if it considers it necessary. Best to introduce yourself to your future Branch Manager before making your trip down to open your account.
For an introduction to a FANTASTIC Branch Manager here in Panama, just let me know.