On an Upward Track
Panama City gained prominence as Latin America's premier offshore banking center, but it's not the only game in town anymore.
Panamanian bankers claim they are not worried as other offshore
banking centers, primarily in the Caribbean, make a grab
for more business. The competitors, they say, are merely
plaques on an office door.
|Oversight has improved in the
"The big difference between Panama and other markets is that
banks have a physical presence here," says Raúl
Alemán, president of the Panamanian Banking Association
and CEO of Banco General. "In the Cayman Islands, there are 200
or 300 banks, but they're just nameplates." Alemán
contends many of the world's top offshore banking centers
do not require banks to maintain a presence beyond a bank
license, attracting a more transient crowd. Bankers say Panama
City's International Banking Center (IBC), by comparison, is
anchored in the country, employing 12,400 workers and
contributing 8% to the country's GDP.
Bankers may sound as if they...
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