Non-Domincan opening a Bank Account

alicious

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Oct 2, 2007
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A non-Dominican friend of mine just tried to open a bank account at Scotia Bank in Sosua, and they told him he can't open a bank account just with his passport.

They are saying he needs a letter from his previous bank (in Europe) and a letter from a lawyer in the DR to open a bank account????

Have things changed that much in the past 3 years since I lived there?

I previously had a bank account with Progresso, Ban Reservas and Popular, and all I needed was my passport and my money to open an account and no problem!

Can anyone verify that this is correct? We got the email address of the bank manager, because that seems a bit strange to me, that someone would have to go to all that trouble to give them money...
 

TOOBER_SDQ

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Nov 19, 2008
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.....seems a bit strange to me, that someone would have to go to all that trouble ....

Most things do seem strange in DR, I agree.

Lately to open a bank account, you need a passport and a letter from a previous bank. I never heard about the letter from a lawyer requirement.

Depending on the amount of money you transfer to the account and the source (employer, client, etc.) of the funds, you may need an additional letter from source the to the effect that the money is not associated with narcotics or money laundering etc. I am pretty sure you can thank Uncle Sam for this nuisance.
 

Chareena

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Apr 3, 2004
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janssoncarina.blogspot.com
Banco Popular

A few days ago I asked Banco Popular about their requirements for open?ng a bank account. They gave me a paper, which says as follows:

"DOCUMENTS NECESSARY TO OPEN ACCOUNT IN BANCO POPULAR

1-passport
2-reference letter of your bank or local bank where you have an account
3-three reference letters of Dominican persons who knows you and are clients of Banco Popular
4-income certification"
 

alicious

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Oct 2, 2007
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The rules haven't changed that much in 3 years, its always been difficult

Really? Where at?
3 years ago...I only needed a passport at all 3 banks I had accounts opened at..Popular, Ban Reservas (hammerdown...thanks for the info...I guess they at least haven't changed their requirements) and Progresso.

Chareena - That's crazy all the info Popular requires!! Wow!!

I guess the DR banks are doing pretty good to be able to turn down money like that, huh? lol..
 

pedrochemical

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Aug 22, 2008
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Typically, if you know somebody in the bank you will be able to open an account with just your passport. I did, no Problem.
When I tried at the same bank before I was introduced by a mutual friend, they told me that I need all the above paperwork.

"You can get by with a little help from your friends."

By the way - DO NOT BE LULLED INTO THINKING THAT SCOTIABANK IS IN ANY WAY CONNECTED TO SCOTIABANK YOU HAVE SEEN IN OTHER PLACES!!!! THEY ARE WORSE THAN USELESS!!!
 

Domwolf

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Mar 22, 2004
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Typically, if you know somebody in the bank you will be able to open an account with just your passport. I did, no Problem.
When I tried at the same bank before I was introduced by a mutual friend, they told me that I need all the above paperwork.

"You can get by with a little help from your friends."

By the way - DO NOT BE LULLED INTO THINKING THAT SCOTIABANK IS IN ANY WAY CONNECTED TO SCOTIABANK YOU HAVE SEEN IN OTHER PLACES!!!! THEY ARE WORSE THAN USELESS!!!

Scotiabank is a very good bank, solid and has very good CS.
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Santiago
Check with other banks, letter of reference are commonly asked for but not always. And the references certainly shouldn't be required to have an account with the same bank.

If this is to transfer funds from outside of the DR, it really would behoove you to consider just writing personal checks from your foreign bank and cashing them here at a local cambio. You will literally save yourself hundreds of dollars every year, many lost hours and the headache of having to deal with these local banks and the fees they like to charge. There really is no advantage for having a bank account here in pesos. I know, I live here and had two and I closed them. I have one that I opened a BP last year with two references but it is in dollars and I use it to cash my and the wife's income tax checks.
 

pedrochemical

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Aug 22, 2008
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Scotiabank is a very good bank, solid and has very good CS.

In my experience not!
Twice they have 'lost' incoming transfers of mine.
Given all the relevant info by the other banks concerned, not only did they muck the transfer up, they made a fudge of the recovery of the funds and the investigation.
Then the bit that confirmed I was in the D.R. - the responsible party got the hump with me because she lost her "Customer Service Christmas bonus".
It honestly never registered with her that the Customer Service bonus might be in peril due to repeated lousy customer service.

From what I have seen, opening a Scotia Bank is like opening any franchise. You can do it well or badly. So maybe some are good and some are bad. I am so pxssed off with Scotia Bank that I am not going to say which one it was!

Is Scotia Bank a franchise?
 

sweetdbt

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Sep 17, 2004
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For those who have provided a letter from your bank in your country of origin; was it required to be in Spanish? If so, how was this handled? I know there aren't any Spanish speakers at my small town bank!
 

Chip

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Jul 25, 2007
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Santiago
For those who have provided a letter from your bank in your country of origin; was it required to be in Spanish? If so, how was this handled? I know there aren't any Spanish speakers at my small town bank!

not to worry, gui espika englich here!
 

Cibaeno

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Feb 7, 2009
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In my personal experience with banks in the DR the No.1 is "Asociacion Cibao", works actually if you live in Santiago, because they have only a few outside Santiago. They have a great CS and the easiest to open accounts or anything like that.

The "Banco Popular" is not any longer a option for me due to the fact that I tried 2 times to open an account and nothing like problems.

The "BHD" is ok, it is a safe bank, but they make things too often more complicated than they are!

I used to like "Banco Leon" but right now I already have 3 months waiting for an authorization from Santo Domingo head office to open an account here. Was supposed to take one month to get this!

So now I am going to get an account in "Ban Reservas" which I heard i a good and very safe bank. Let?s see what this one is going to be ;)
 

La Mariposa

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Jun 4, 2004
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In my experience not!
Twice they have 'lost' incoming transfers of mine.
Given all the relevant info by the other banks concerned, not only did they muck the transfer up, they made a fudge of the recovery of the funds and the investigation.
Then the bit that confirmed I was in the D.R. - the responsible party got the hump with me because she lost her "Customer Service Christmas bonus".
It honestly never registered with her that the Customer Service bonus might be in peril due to repeated lousy customer service.

From what I have seen, opening a Scotia Bank is like opening any franchise. You can do it well or badly. So maybe some are good and some are bad. I am so pxssed off with Scotia Bank that I am not going to say which one it was!

Is Scotia Bank a franchise?

In mine either and the list could go on and on
 

ngc911

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Jul 30, 2008
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Banco Del Progresso

I opened an account at Banco Del Progresso in Puerto Plata (Tropical Branch) Feb.17/09 and all I had to provide was my Canadian Passport, Reference letter from my Canadian Financial institution (RBC). The letter was in English. They had no issue with this and the process was smooth and quick. Mind you, I opened a Dominican Pesos account with book access.
 

Uzin

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Oct 26, 2005
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Would a bank statement from your home bank be sufficient, it is widely used here in UK nowadays as a reference and proof of ID and so on. I can't remember when was the last time I had to ask for a Letter Of Reference from a bank here, I bet they will charge a fee for something like that...... !
 

hammerdown

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Apr 29, 2005
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update on ban reservas.....i was depositing some money and decided to ask what was required for a foreigner to open an account, a passport and a reference letter from someone that has residency here, i reported before you only needed a passport, but now you need a letter as well....
 

LaTeacher

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May 2, 2008
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it's not a letter of reference as much as the name of someone who they can call on the telephone and see if they really know you. we just got a small loan that required 3 references - just the telephone of three other reservas users.
 
Jan 17, 2009
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I just came from trying to open an account at Banreservas in Cabarete. Passport and a letter of reference from a Dominican national (residency not sufficient). Mind you, I had an account at Banreservas which I closed about 18 months ago. It doesn't matter; same thing as if I never had one.

We had first been in BHD to change my husband's account to a joint account. First, I was told I needed a letter of reference from my bank; then he took my US passport and came back to say that with a passport I could not be in the account as joint owner, but only have a power of attorney to deposit and withdraw funds. If my husband passes (hope not!!), then the account is frozen till inheritance can be figured out.

In Banreservas we were told that even if we have a joint account, same thing happens when one of the owners of the joint account dies: account is frozen leaving the living owner with not access to his/her account (go try to figure out how to cover medical bills, funeral expenses, etc.) while the legal system decides what you're entitled to!

I have never encountered such a distorted and tedious process to open a bank account and laws that don't seem to make any particular sense. I guess keeping money under the mattress is the best option in the DR.