Peru Banks

Are you thinking of opening a bank account in Peru, a country with one of the world's fastest growing economies?

In general, only Peruvian residents can open bank accounts in Peru.

If you are a foreigner residing in Peru and wish to open a bank account there, you will need to show your foreign residency card and provide a copy of a utility bill. Some banks will accept a passport in place of a foreign residency card.

You may have to supply proof of income - this can be foreign income.

Some Peruvian employers will set up bank accounts for their employees.

If you are moving to Peru in order to work there, your future employer may set up a bank account for you in advance.

Currency and Foreign Exchange

The official currency of Peru is the Nuevo Sol. It is divided into 100 céntimos.

100 Nuevos Soles. Source: Central Reserve Bank of PeruMost businesses accept US dollars, and many accept euros as well.

US dollars and euros can be exchanged at banks and in many other places, including restaurants and hotels.

There are official money changers, known as cambistas, on the street. They are supposed to wear identifying badges to show that they are operating within the law.

Money can be exchanged on the black market for a better rate of exchange.

Be aware that when you exchange money on the black market, you are increasing your chances of being cheated. You may be given useless counterfeit money.

There are ATMs all over Peru, and most of them allow you to withdraw either Nuevo Soles or US dollars.

Municipal Savings Banks

Municipal Savings Banks (Cajas Municipales) are institutions that provide loans and are similar to banks. They are sponsored by local and municipal governments and are under the supervision of the Superintendent of Banking and Securities (Superintendencia de Banca y Seguros). They are designed to encourage investment and tend to pay high interest rates.