The private sector is opposed to the decision of the Income Management Service to request information from banks to identify potential evasion on the part of companies.
Miriam Guzman, head of the Income Management Service (SAR), explained to Laprensa.hn that they request information from the banks and then send a friendly request about the inconsistencies between those declared and those reported at the bank.The company or individual is then asked to file a return."..."We give them a deadline, and if they do not comply, the sanctions detailed in the Tax Code are applied, explained Guzman."
A law has come into force which requires banks to register as atypical all transactions of more than $4 thousand that are realized in cash.
The decree by the Central Bank which comes into effect from April establishes new requirements for banks when dealing with transactions made both in domestic and foreign currency, as well as cash or through other means.
Fitch Ratings, "Reputational risk events could put broad pressure on funding access and damage Panama's position as a regional financial center. "
From a report by Fitch Ratings:
Fitch Ratings-San Salvador/New York-15 March 2017: Reputational and conduct risk will remain key issues for Panamanian banks in 2017 owing to the interconnectedness of the regional financial system and ongoing high profile corruption cases that have affected multiple countries in Latin America, says Fitch Ratings. Reputational risk events could put broad pressure on funding access and damage Panama's position as a regional financial center.
Davivienda must repay $451,000 to 200 customers and pay a fine of $453,000 after having charged fees for advance payments on credits.
From a statement issued by the Consumer Protection Authority:
The Consumer Protection Authority wishes to inform citizens that, after at the culmination of a due process, the sentencing court has issued a resolution determining that the bank Davivienda must reimburse 203 consumers the sum of $451,357.78, and pay a fine of $453,099.60, due to violations of the Consumer Protection Act, upon collection of fees or charges for advance payments on credit.
Companies that make or receive international transfers for amounts of over $50,000 per transaction will have to indicate the origin of the funds.
Banking entities have reached an agreement to amend theSelf-RegulationRulesfor Monitoring of International Transfers to Prevent Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The amendment was approved in October 2016, and banks will have to start implementing the new measures in January this year.
In Costa Rica several banks expressed their disagreement with the new standard which will prevent them from deciding how much of their capital will be denominated in dollars and how much in colones.
In an attempt to gain more control of the risk involved in foreign exchange transactions by banks and their impact on the exchange rate, the Central Bank has changed therules for foreign exchange cash operations, forcing banks to change the composition of their assets so that the proportion denominated in dollars is equal to the proportion of assets in that currency.
Starting December 22nd 2016 a new rule applies that prevents banks in Costa Rica from deciding how much of their capital they want to hold denominated in dollars and how much in colones.
In an attempt to gain more control of the risk involved in foreign exchange transactions by banks and their impact on the exchange rate, the Central Bank has changed the rules for foreign exchange cash operations, forcing banks to change the composition of their assets so that the proportion denominated in dollars is equal to the proportion of assets in that currency.
As of December 31, 2016 the balance of loans granted by banks and financial institutions grew by 5.5% compared to the same month in 2015, reaching $12,409,000.
Figures from the Financial System Regulator point out that in the same period deposits grew by 3%, reaching $11,243 million.Most noteworthy were private sector deposits, which increased by $380 million, while the public sector fell by $53 million.
Fitch foresees returns for Nicaraguan banks, however the result will not be as good for the banking industry in Panama, Guatemala or El Salvador.
From Fitch's report "2017 Outlook: Central American and Dominican Republic Banks"
The 2017 Central American bank rating outlook is stable for 2017, reflecting slight changes in growth and financial performance, according to a new Fitch Ratings report. The evolution of some factors, such as interest rates and private investment, or the emergence of events that could increase reputation risk could alter the banking outlook.Stable Rating Outlook: The ratings of most banks in the region have a stable outlook, reflecting the fact that their credit profile will not undergo significant changes in Fitch's base scenario.Movements in the ratings will be derived mainly from adjustments in ratings of parent banks or sovereign ratings, or of unanticipated events.
Up to September 2016 annual growth in the loan portfolio of the banking system decreased from 23% to 20%.
From the Central Bank´s financial report, September 2016:
Credit growth declined. In September 2016, gross loans totaled 136,803.4 million cordobas, with a growth of 20.0 percent. This represents a decrease of 3.1 percentage points compared to the figure seen in September 2015.Meanwhile, real credit growth declined by 3.9 percentage points compared to that observed in September 2015 (19.8% vs 15.9% 2015 2016).The gross loan portfolio of the financial system remains active with the most weight in the balance of the financial system (66.0%).
Up to the month of August the balance of the loan portfolio in the banking system amounted to $47.7 million, 9.9% more than in the same month in 2015.
Although the latest official census figures on constructions were not very promising, this sector continues to lead the growth of credit in Panama.Up to August, credit granted by banks to the construction sector recorded its second highest rate of growth, with 16%, preceded only by credit for industrial activities, which grew by almost 20% during the period in question.
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