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Regions, Cities and Towns
investors think about placing investment funds offshore, or in establishing
an offshore bank account, the Dominican Republic is probably one of the
last places that comes to mind. The fact of the matter is, the Dominican
Republic offers Tax Free US dollar accounts, high yielding bonds or commerical
paper, and much more.
The official currency of the country is the Dominican Peso, which trades freely against most major currencies. All business in the Dominican Republic is conducted in Pesos, with the exception of some hotels or tourist related concerns that may offer the choice of payment in US Dollars.
The Dominican Central Bank is the government entity charged with regulating the country's money supply and banking system. While there are few foreign banks operating in the Dominican Republic at the moment, new banking legislation, designed to make banking even more attractive, should change that. Currently BBV or Banco Bilbao Vizcaya, Citibank and Scotia Bank are the three major foreign banks operating in the country. Recent years have seen some smaller private banks come into the market as well.
The major local banks include: Banco BHD, Banco Popular (Dominicano), Banco Inter-Continental, Banco Mercantil, Banco Metropolitano, Banco de Reservas, Banco Gerencial & Fiduciario, plus a number of savings & loan institutions.
Establishing a local bank account is
quite simple and normally requires a visit to the bank with your passport.
At the present time, most banks only offer US dollar savings accounts or certificates of deposit in US dollars. Checking accounts in US dollars are not readily available, but this of course may change in the near future. Dominican Peso denominated checking, savings and certificates of deposit are available, often with interest rates much higher that the US dollar account rates.
Not only is the Tax Free aspect favorable to investors, but the rates of interest are normally much higher than what is found being offered by North American banks.
Almost all banks in the Dominican Republic maintain a correspondent banking relationship with a bank in the United States, making wire transfers or issuance of checks drawn from a US dollar account in the US possible.
Most Dominican Banks also offer an ATM type debit card for your Peso savings or checking account, which can be used at many stores in the country for payment or at ATM cash machines both in the Dominican Republic and worldwide.