History

Puerto Rico became part of the United States following the Spanish American War in 1898. The Commonwealth itself began to take shape in 1950, under the governorship and direction of Mr. Luis Muñoz Marín. In that year, the then Resident Commissioner, Mr. Antonio Fernós, presented, a project providing for "the organization of a Constitutional Government by the people of Puerto Rico."

The Administration of President Truman and the Congress gave a very good reception to the project, which became Law 600 of the United States Congress, of July 3, 1950, the day it was signed by President Truman. Then, the Legislature of Puerto Rico approved it by referendum, which was held on June 4, 1951. That day, Puerto Rican voters accepted with their votes to draft their own Constitution, depositing in the polls 387,016 votes in favor and 119,169 in against. On August 27, the delegates to the Constituent Assembly were elected. 70 members were elected by the Popular Democratic Party, 15 by the Puerto Rican States Party and 7 by the Socialist Party. The members of the Puerto Rican Independence Party abstained from voting in these elections.

The Constituent Assembly drafted the Constitution, and on March 3, 1952 it was submitted to the people of Puerto Rico for acceptance or rejection: 374,649 voted in favor and 82,923 against.

On July 25, 1952, the validity of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was proclaimed, in a ceremony presided over by its creator, Mr. Luis Muñoz Marín.

Banking Institutions & Laws and Regulations

There is no Central Bank in Puerto Rico, it is the US Federal Reserve Bank which acts as a Central Bank, determining the receivable interest over loans for the banks which are members and regulates Monetary and Credit Policy. Bank deposits in Puerto Rico are guaranteed up to $100,000 USD by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

Banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). They are subject to all Federal controls applicable to banks in the United States of America. Commonwealth government supervision of banks is done through the Commissioner of Financial Affairs (Comisionado de Instituciones Financieras).

Therefore, despite the global economic challenges, Puerto Rico remains a principal and well reputed offshore jurisdictions, and keeps attracting new banks, such Euro Pacific Bank, formerly from Saint-Vincent & the Grenadines.

Common Reporting Standards

The clients of Puerto Rico banks are currently not subject to reporting requirements under the new international Common Reporting Standards (CRS) legislation.

Banking Facilities:

All basic banking services are offered in Puerto Rico, including a growing trend toward electronic banking. Most banks also issue credit cards and debit cards, with access throughout the island and elsewhere to Automated Teller Machines (usually referred to as ATH’s, a generic name that developed from the initials of the first such system developed in Puerto Rico).

Shopping around for services, for service charges and for interest rates is advisable, as competition is keen between the different banking and financial institutions.

Retail banking, commercial and corporate banking as well as cash management are seen as products of high proficiency in this jurisdiction.

Which documents are needed to open a bank account?

As a general rule a bank in Puerto Rico will ask for a certified copy of the shareholder's and director's passport (as well as for the beneficial owner if different), as well as a recent proof of residence which must be less than three months old, and a bank reference letter. The letter can be replaced by the last 3 months personal bank statements.

We will send you the additional documents necessary for an account opening by email as the list of the required due diligence may slightly vary from case to case.