Kenneth Rijock

Kenneth Rijock

Saturday, January 7, 2017


The Superintendent of Banking in the Republic of Panama (SBP) has published a list of local financial institutions that have been subject to civil fines & penalties, in 2015 and 2016. Reportedly, there are fines and sanctions imposed quarterly, but this critical information was never made public, and the Superintendent of Banking has now chosen to release the names and the offense details, over the objection of senior officials in Panama City, who apparently fear that the negative news will impact the economy.  We also understand that future fines will be made public in a timely manner.

(1) St. George Bank and Company Inc.*
(2) Banco Azteca (Panama) SA
(3) Austrobank Overseas (Panama) SA
(4) Banesco SA
(5) Unibank SA

Here are the details of the fines imposed, and the reasons therefor:

Panama observers caution that these fines were not accompanied by the imposition of any meaningful supervision of the named banks, and that, in Panama, fines are often regarded as the cost of doing business. Do not expect that any reforms, or changes in the operating procedures of the named banks, will occur, and compliance officers in North America, and the EU, would be well advised to take a close look at any transactions which these named banks might have had with your financial institution, or are pending.

* Readers please note that SBP records also show a St Georges Bank, and there is confusion over the similar names; is this the same, or another licensed bank ? The records do not so indicate.

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