What I experienced today about the Bank Update process!
I went to Banco Nacional today (Friday - December 27, 2013) to find out the actual SCOOP on what I needed to get my bank account up-to-date so they wouldn't close it the beginning of the year 2014.
I spoke with a branch manager so I could get FACTS (we'll his version of them) thinking I'd need to come back with all the stuff people were saying was needed but since I don't keep much $$ in my bank account in Costa Rica, I was done in 30 minutes!!!
So how it worked for ME/people in MY category - people that don't have much $$ in their bank accounts in Costa Rica (and of course, this IS Costa Rica so you may have a TOTALLY different experience) was:
If you have LESS than $1,000 a MONTH in ALL your COMBINED accountS - you do NOT NOT NOT need to spend the $40-$80+ to get a Financial Declaration from a CPA!!!
ALL I needed was my ORIGINAL passport and my last 6 months bank statement from my U.S. bank and I verbally told him where my $$ was coming from (since it's not made in Costa Rica), updated my email address and phone number and signed some form (oops - I just realized I didn't read it - oh well!! I guess that was that "Know Your Customer" form. Hopefully I didn't sign my $35 in the account away!).
That means if you have OVER $1,000 a MONTH - COMBINED in ALL of your accounts you WILL NEED to bring PROOF of where your $$$ comes from. Now this part is conflicting as I've seen that only people with bank accounts in a corporations name MUST get the CPA "letter" but MY understanding of what he said sounded like if your $$ source was not so clear cut as say Social Security, etc. then you must get that CPA letter (basically proving you're not a money laundering, drug dealing, terrorist like we seem to all be treated like these days)!
ALL people with bank accounts in Costa Rica NEED to at least UPDATE their bank information - Tico's as well as ExPats!!WHEN DO I NEED TO COMPLETE THIS BY?
We're SUPPOSED to do it BY years end (2013) - which for Banco Nacional is MONDAY - December 30 as they'll be closed on December 31 and January 1, 2014.
Now, what actually happens after that (meaning will they actually start closing people's accounts that have not complied with this new rule and if so, WHEN??) is anyone's guess BUT - I took it SERIOUSLY after having some accounts (that I wasn't really using anyways) closed down because I didn't want to spend the $$ to get that similar statement from a CPA a couple years ago when they first did this, plus I got a colon account closed down for 90 days of inactivity and I didn't want to spend that $ for a CPA's letter.
Do what ya want with this info - this was just MY experience today (and a friend that went with me) and I'm stickin' to it!!!
- I went to the scotia bank in herradura to see what I needed to do. since I didn't claim to have any set income from any said source they said I needed to have to show them statements for the past six months from my account in the states. as we talked longer the assistant manager dropped it down to three months and said she would give me a month to bring in the statements. I did this around December 18th.so as usual, there seems to be no set protocol that applies to everyone or to every bank or branch. I would just suggest to go in and simply see what is required of you personally. it really helps to be pleasant and to have a good standing rapport with bank employees.henry
- Thank goodness, we just closed our BN account after so many years for "excessive turgidity" and (at least in Alajuela) a really peculiar q system invented by persons of another species, Berni
- Updated my bank info at the BN branch across from MetroCentro in Cartago, She asked me if I was a pensionado, said yes, Was my only income from my pension? said yes, copied my cedula, updated phone number and email, and done, didn't have to show anything...
- Went to Banco National and Da. NO problem at all. They did not want anything and did not need to
see anything. We have been with them for 5 years so I dont know if that makes a difference.
They were wondering why we were there. So while we were there they just went over to see
it the information was the same. 5 mins and we were out of both banks.
- It really depends on the bank and the personnel there. We have been a client of Scotiabank for almost 30 years and they still want the updates although we got it very quikly. We have been a client of Desifyn for 10 years and they still want the updates and they seemed to need less information. Depending on how well you know the person you are dealing with and how friendly the two of you are - the "Know Your Customer" dance can be easy or difficult, but you have to dance!
- I'm agreeing with Joe, at least for BN in Grecia. The woman who helped me told me that the radio and TV stations here were making, in effect, a mountain out of a mole hill. I gave her a new telephone number, and my email address. My cedula is expired while I wait for my permanent residency application to be completed. She told me, handing me back all my papers, to come back when I got my new cedula.
My apologies to Berni, who had nothing but bad luck with BN in Alajuela for an aeon of years, but I have had terrific service from the Grecia BN for a good years.
- For some reason I cannot open this email and read the seven responses. But I will share my experience.On Friday, December 27, I went into the Banco de Costa Rica in Mall Grecia with information to update my file with them. In my information package I included a copy of my passport, a copy of my cedula, and a copy of my Costa Rican drivers license. Since I had moved since opening the account in February., 2011, I included my current address, along with a copy of my lease agreement, along with a copy of a receipt for payment of an electric bill.The response I received was interesting. They (two men) looked at me like they did not know why I was bringing this information to them. They did, however, take note of the address change. Also, they did not keep the information package, and assured me that my account would not be frozen.Could this requirement for updating information to the bank be a policy of Banco Nacional, and Banco NAcional alone?Robert
- Unfortunately not, Robert. It is the Banking Association for Costa Rica who has mandated the updating of EVERY account, both Tico and Foreigner in Costa Rica.
After saying that, the implimentation of this is typically Tico. It will be followed closely by the largest banks in the center of San Jose, while losing impetus and implementation as you get further away from SJ. By the time you reach Turrialba, or Grecia or any smaller town or bank, no one will have heard of the new regulation or know how to implement it if they have. The smaller the bank, the more the people know you as an individual, the less problems you will have. This is just one of the advantages of living outside of the city.
It is always safer though, as expats, to always be in compliance. Who knows when the regulators from the city might pass through and notice an irregularity that might lead to a problem for someone who doesn't know the system. Most of us are dependent on monthly SS deposits and having our account frozen, even for a few days can be really frightening.
I have been with BNCR for over three years and this is the first year that they have ask me to update my info which I did via the internet. In the past I have probably updated it during the course of normal business. Luckily the one hassle I have had with BN occured shortly after opening the account but I had given them my new phone number by then so they where able to call me on a Tuesday saying that I had to come in by Thursday with a bunch of information plus a letter to them explaining the source of all my income and the reason for all the transfers that I head been making. I had made several transfers in the last two months of more that $5000 each but it never occured to me that it would be a problem because each was less than $10k. It was cheaper to make a large wire transfer occasionally then take $500 out of ATM's.
After getting there with this pile of stuff the only thing they seemed to be interested in was my SS letter from the consulate and the statement from the SS in English of which they had a copy. That was when I learned that they all "knew English" as few seem to speak it.
The result of all that was that I learned I was not suppose to deposit more than $5000 per month and if I did I needed to notify them as to the source of the funds and what it was going to be used for. I was also told that I could only deposit via check $1000 a month or I would have to pay a fee. After all of that I decided to have my SS deposited in my dollar account each month rather than writing checks and waiting 5 weeks for them to be unfrozen.
Indeed. I've been with BCR for over 10 years and several years ago they called to request I come in to document the source of my "ingresas." So I brought the book I wrote, showed them the website I sell it on and I think a few months of PayPal and US checking account statements and they scanned it all and were satisfied. They have not asked for an update since. Perhaps it helps that being a Bible book author does not exactly scream narcotraficante.> Could this requirement for updating information to the bank be a policy of Banco Nacional, and Banco Nacional alone?
- No Robert, Our Scotiabank wanted this information and Desyfin where we have an account wanted this information. It just seems that different institutions want different information. Scotiabank where we have had an account for 25 years wanted more information than Desyfin did, where we have had an account for 10 years.
- The U.S. government demands that banks in foreign countries collect the
information discussed here, to maintain their fiscal standing with the U.S.
The guidelines are unclear as to which exact information is to be
collected, and what evidence is appropriate. So the banks here typically
collect any info you give them on the source of your deposits and
income, your personal ID, and whatever you give to show them your residence.
How demanding the bank is of you in frequency and type of evidence
depends a great deal on how well they know you, and how blase the bank
official collecting the information is. Remember, they are collecting
information that for the most part, they don't believe is worth collecting.
One bank here requested by phone that i bring the corporate ownership
title of my home, along with proof that i represent the SA. So i brought
my electric bill, and breezed right through.