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RuralPuebla

Jun 23, 2016, 9:08 PM

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Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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I now have Permanent Residence and have a long term goal of moving some money to a Mexican bank. Has anyone here had any luck with opening a Mexican bank account as PR? If so, which bank or banks?

I am up to speed on US Home Security limitations on moving money and how to deal with it and how to report it to avoid being fined out of existence. That is not the issue. Just finding a bank which will let a PR have an account is the problem right now.

So, I thought if anyone knows it would be the group here. Thanks for any info



hunteradvisor


Jun 24, 2016, 4:19 AM

Post #2 of 32 (6601 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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Intercam and Banamex both opened accounts for me as PR & Intercam
Opened an account for my TR friend.
Isabel
www.RanchoSolyMar.com


YucaLandia


Jun 24, 2016, 6:35 AM

Post #3 of 32 (6585 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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Since you haven't had a previous relationship with a Mexican bank, there are a few things worth knowing before picking a bank.

In this age of computerized records, computerized bill paying, computerized tracking, online access to your account information...

when picking a Mexican bank, realize that these factors often work the opposite way than you'd think:
1. Computerized records: One would imagine that the sucursal (branch bank) that you choose to use to start your account at would not matter much.
*Wrong*... That specific branch will be the ONLY one where you can do a number of things, like adding signatories to your account, getting new cards (if they arbitrarily randomly dis-allow your existing ATM card), make changes to your account, etc etc.

Lots of the bank records are still on paper in Mexico... so the branch where you sign up in Mexico can be critical to your future sanity.

This means that you REALLY want a local sucursal that give good service. Poor service? A poor quality branch can make it take 2½ years just to add a person to the account, while a good branch with the same bank can do it in one visit.

HSBC's computers have randomly shut-down 4 of our ATM/Visa-debit cards over the years, and even the branch managers cannot say why, except to *sigh* & say "It happens... a lot."


2. Many banks offer automated bill paying... but it only works well for some banks. Scotiabank's bill paying service is easy to set up and works well. HSBC's auto-bill paying service is both a nightmare to set-up, and does not coordinate with CFE nor our Yucatan govt. water service ... and it doesn't work.

3. Scotiabank's online access has worked superbly for us, while HSBC has been another ongoing nightmare ... where HSBC Mexico has not even reliably kept their computers online & working. Plus we've had the HSBC security code generators fail, and HSBC dings us $200 pesos each time their code fails... when their site is unaccessable.

Banorte has several peculiarities that touch several of these bases... where Banorte branches entire computer systems go off-line for 30 minutes to hours... creating hours of lines of back-ups.

Plus, find out what services the local sucursales CANNOT do... as many Banorte services are ONLY available in some far-off corporate office - which means hours on the phone if there's even a minor problem - potentially paying skads of long-distance charges

~ and only being able to deal with a less-than-caring faceless clerk over-the-phone ... versus having a talented eager-to-help local person working with you - who knows you - and will talk with a manager to get thing approved vs. having your request filed (buried) in 'the pile'....

.
4. Know that many Mexican banks consider your deposited funds to be... their money.

The bad ones will sometimes make bogus charges to your account, debit your account incorrectly for $1,000 - $6,000 pesos, etc.

5. TALK with locals to find out which branches & which banks work really work. and don't necessarily believe the advice from people who have 'premium' accounts.

Other advice?

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


mcm

Jun 24, 2016, 12:06 PM

Post #4 of 32 (6555 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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It should be no problem.

I've had a Scotiabank account for many years, opened with an FM-3, and then opened a second Scotiabank account with a PR (at a new branch, since there's now one closer to my home -- see Yucalandia's comments about the importance of opening your account at a good AND convenient branch).

In addition to your passport, residency card, and comprobante de domicilio (like a utility bill), you will probably need local references -- just neighbor, relative, etc. who is Mexican citizen and can vouch for you if necessary. You should be able to open the account in one visit, and it shouldn't take more than an hour.

Mexican accounts have only a single titular (name on the account), but you can add a second person -- they can do transactions and have a debit card but can't sign for any changes to the account. The second person would also need to provide passport, etc.

The account I have with Scotiabank charges no fees for the account as long as the minimum balance is 3000 pesos, and supplies a debit card. I have a US social security payment automatically deposited into that account, as well.


verano

Jun 24, 2016, 1:23 PM

Post #5 of 32 (6541 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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>> " and don't necessarily believe the advice from people who have 'premium' accounts."

"Believe" ?? do you mean 'anticipate the same experiences' ?

For us - our (premium) relationship with HSBC Mexico has been GREAT. Not only do we have a checking and savings account - we also have investment accounts, debit/credit cards, our home and car insurance etc. They require 500,000 pesos - and their CEDES/pagares pay a decent interest. We also have a small account at Banamex - just a placeholder - but also cost free. We shutdown our Santander account in less than a year - live is just too short.

btw - we opened our HSBC Mexico account from the US.


ifyoucanttakeajoke


Jun 24, 2016, 1:54 PM

Post #6 of 32 (6535 views)

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Re: [verano] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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>> " and don't necessarily believe the advice from people who have 'premium' accounts."

"Believe" ?? do you mean 'anticipate the same experiences' ?

For us - our (premium) relationship with HSBC Mexico has been GREAT. Not only do we have a checking and savings account - we also have investment accounts, debit/credit cards, our home and car insurance etc. They require 500,000 pesos - and their CEDES/pagares pay a decent interest. We also have a small account at Banamex - just a placeholder - but also cost free. We shutdown our Santander account in less than a year - live is just too short.

btw - we opened our HSBC Mexico account from the US.

It's just me, but no way would I put that much money in a Mexican bank. Fraud, etc. notwithstanding, have you checked just how much "real money" that is worth these days?


verano

Jun 24, 2016, 3:36 PM

Post #7 of 32 (6525 views)

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Re: [ifyoucanttakeajoke] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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Friend - we make almost enough interest (in our Mexican investments) to cover our Mexican expenses.

Which was our original retirement plan when we were in the US. We are just implementing it here.


gabrielin

Jun 24, 2016, 10:22 PM

Post #8 of 32 (6498 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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From what I heard (and experienced), a lot of banks make it really difficult for Americans to get an account because of all the extra regulations and paperwork they have to fill out. Why Mexico follows U.S. laws is beyond me, but whatever.


To clear things up, my experiences were with a RT (Residente Temporal) visa in Mexico City:

1) Santander. The first account I opened was with Santander and there was no problem. I did have to fill out some form for the U.S., though. So far, so good. I know everyone has a different opinion of each bank, but Santander has been wonderful to me. Not to mention the fact that the lines for ATMs (in general) and my branch are almost always short.

Even though I have accounts, I'll proceed:

2) Banorte would not open an account for me (which is funny because I opened one a few years back with just a passport).

3) Banamex has really long lines. Always.

4) HSBC screwed my spouse over royally. I know there are posters above who love HSBC, but personally, I'd stay far far away.

5) Scotiabank has less locations than other banks but a good friend with a RP said they're excellent.


As far as opening an account, really, it depends on your type of visa and whether the employee feels like opening an account for you. If one says no, wait a day to see if there's someone else. If not, try a different branch (or bank). I would recommend Santander, but as I mentioned, these are my opinions. Everyone has had and will have different experiences.


Good luck. :)


YucaLandia


Jun 25, 2016, 8:21 AM

Post #9 of 32 (6468 views)

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Re: [verano] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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>> " and don't necessarily believe the advice from people who have 'premium' accounts."

"Believe" ?? do you mean 'anticipate the same experiences' ?

For us - our (premium) relationship with HSBC Mexico has been GREAT. Not only do we have a checking and savings account - we also have investment accounts, debit/credit cards, our home and car insurance etc. They require 500,000 pesos - and their CEDES/pagares pay a decent interest. We also have a small account at Banamex - just a placeholder - but also cost free. We shutdown our Santander account in less than a year - live is just too short.

btw - we opened our HSBC Mexico account from the US.


I'm glad that your HSBC account does what you enjoy.

**Re believing the advice from 'HSBC Premium' members:

The 'HSBC Premium' program in Canada is different from
the 'HSBC Premium' program in USA is different from
the 'HSBC Premium' program in Mexico.

We get different services, depending on where we establish/start our 'HSBC Premium' account,

Unless you can match all the conditions of the person giving you the advice, it's better to talk to a local person with local experience about how well 'HSBC Premium' account service actually works in their area.


e.g. We've tried repeatedly for 3 months to do a simple startup of either auto-paying our CFE bills on line, and for doing simple transfers on-line...

but the Mexico HSBC 'Premium' service simply does NOT work for many common transactions that work easily in Canada & the USA, plus the legal Terms & Conditions vary widely between Canada, the USA and Mexico HSBCs...

We've spent over 60 hours in 4 different HSBC Mexico branches trying to undo the messes their computer systems caused over the last 11 years.

Only one (1) HSBC office has been able to make any real progress...

and even that one 'good' HSBC office cannot set up even a simple working CFE auto-pay .. even after 4 visits ... and 6 hours in lines.

while Scotiabank has twice successfully established CFE auto-payments for us ... in less than 1 hour.

Happy Trials,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


verano

Jun 25, 2016, 10:02 AM

Post #10 of 32 (6456 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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We have had very different experiences.

** HSBC Mexico **

- Every month (on or about the 15th) I log into the HSBC website and use their bill-pay feature to pay; Sky, Iusacell and Telmex. I have not tried using any sort of 'auto' feature because I use the opportunity to update my Quicken information. Takes about 5 minutes.

- I did once run into a problem with HSBC <-> CFE when I paid the bill at the bank teller's window. But we were renting at the time and the bill was not in our name. Since then we pay our CFE bill in person at the CFE drive-up machine. Very easy and we get a receipt directly from CFE.

- I routinely use SPEI to send/receive monies within Mexico. Free.

- Periodically I wire pesos (purchased in the US) into our HSBC account. Never had any problems and never had to pay any fees what-so-ever and without delay.

- We have dealt with the same woman at HSBC for several years. We call ahead to make an appointment. She is a very nice person and has had our back on a few occasions.

- I use HSBC to pay our peso-based credit cards.

- I do not really use HSBC as a profit generating thing. You can get better rates elsewhere but for the services they provide - I don't mind the 1/2 percent or so I give up. I keep the balances at a minimum.

- I'm sure you and I use the exact same HSBC website. There are some quirks. When you first set up a SPEI account it takes 2 hours for it to become active. From time to time I can't 'Buy Time' on one of our phones. I don't know if that is HSBC's fault.

Edit : and I routinely use the ATM to pull peso. Free.

--

To the original poster - We have had NO problems opening accounts with several different banks in Mexico. Over time we grew 'unhappy' with a couple and WE terminated the relationship. We have met with several 'brokerages' here in Mexico and none of them had any issues with us being foreigners. WHAT we have had some problems with is opening a new account with a US bank - now that we reside in Mexico.


(This post was edited by verano on Jun 25, 2016, 10:45 AM)


RuralPuebla

Jun 28, 2016, 5:03 PM

Post #11 of 32 (6321 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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Thanks all for hot tips. As a coincidence, just yesterday I drove my wife on a 3 hour round trip to the nearest bank to close her account. It was Banamex. The young man there was extremely helpful and competent. So, when she was done, I asked him if I could open an account with a PR. He asked to see it, and said absolutely yes. I am not sure I plan to use them, but it was good to know.

In the fall, I wanted to open an account with my RT and went to HSBC in Tehuacan at the mall. First trip, 4 hours round trip, they told me I needed bills with an address on it. I had two official government documents, one Federal and one Municipal. Nope had to be a utility bill, even though my utility bills had wrong addresses on them. Since they were signed up before out town had street numbers.

So, we went and got those fixed using the official government documents. Sigh.

We drove back to Tehuacan. This time they let us fill out the forms completely but said the official who had to approve the account was not there. Another 4 hour round trip wasted.

Went back and previously named official said, NO, HSBC does not let jubliados have bank accounts. I was not a jubillado but a family unity RT. He told me if I become a naturalized citizen, then they would let me open an account. He said to try another bank; they might let us have an account. But that was the third strike. As we walked out of the bank, I told my wife, "Guess which bank we will not use if I become a citizen." She guessed.

I do not care about investment return. I am convinced that all major decisions should be made based on the individual's person prediction for the future. Not Dave Ramseys. Not Obamas. But, your own. My personal prediction is when not if the US banking system starts to fold they will do a number of things in desperation Including freezing exportation of US funds, which would mean no ATM money when I need it.

I don't especially care if others disagree. I am acting on my own predictions for the future, and I do want a bunch of money in Mexico, just in case.

My only remaining worry is having an account with no mailed monthly statement. The last thing I need is for someone to access a bank statement with 200,000 in it, less than 10,000 USD.


DavidHF

Jun 30, 2016, 3:52 PM

Post #12 of 32 (6248 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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You can open an account at ANY bank as a RP. My suggestion is to use on of the smaller ones such as Banco Multiva who do not report anything to the the US. All of the big international banks such as HSBC, Bancomer, and Banamex play by the rules demanded by the US. The small ones do not. They also tend to provide better customer service and their staffs are local people. That nice man you met at Banamex will be transferred somewhere within a couple of years and you'll get someone new and maybe not nearly as helpful.


bigriver

Jun 30, 2016, 9:04 PM

Post #13 of 32 (6225 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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What are the general assessments regarding BanBajio? I read and am told the bank is a localized institution, funded mostly with Mexican money, and provides professional attentive service.


RuralPuebla

Jul 3, 2016, 8:33 AM

Post #14 of 32 (6151 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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I have no reason to doubt David's advice on small banks to avoid reporting was sincere.

However, if the bank does not report to the US government, YOU ARE OBLIGED TO. AND FAILURE TO DO SO CAN BRING DOWN ON YOU PENALTIES RAPIDLY EXCEEDING 6 DIGITS.

Read the instructions on the 1040 form or other version of US tax form.

There is a reason Switzerland and other nations no longer permit US expats to have bank accounts.

Also, though I am not so sure of this, I read that US banks are prohibited from transferring your money to foreign banks which do not report to the US government of accounts belonging to US citizens.

Remember Al Capone, very likely murdered a large number of people, either directly or by agent. He died in prison for charges brought by the IRS. Do not mess with the IRS.


joaquinx


Jul 3, 2016, 3:56 PM

Post #15 of 32 (6122 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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There is a reason Switzerland and other nations no longer permit US expats to have bank accounts.


Wouldn't this be a bank decision rather than a country one? I do know that HSBC is compliant to all IRS rules - worldwide. Plus there are advertisements saying that they can get you a Swiss bank account. Of course, for a fee.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


RuralPuebla

Jul 5, 2016, 7:03 PM

Post #16 of 32 (6013 views)

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Re: [joaquinx] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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Of course, you may be correct. I am only thinking based on many comments on many boards that US expats were tossed off their bank accounts because of bank fears of being heavily fined over reporting issues with US citizens. I certainly have no hard data on what percentage of expats have had this problem.


roberb7


Jul 5, 2016, 7:39 PM

Post #17 of 32 (6006 views)

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Re: [bigriver] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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Can´t tell you anything about BanBajio, other than that their ATM fees are reasonable. But I can tell you that CI Banco has a good reputation for dealing with expats, at least in San Miguel de Allende.


DavidHF

Jul 6, 2016, 4:31 PM

Post #18 of 32 (5957 views)

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Re: [RuralPuebla] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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One must report foreign account with a value of more than $10,000. I don't keep that much $$ in Mexico. The taxes on any gains I realize from investments are paid in Mexico. There is no requirement to report any of that to the IRS unless the total investment is above a certain amount. The IRS/US Gov't is throwing its weight around with International banks. Not using one is my choice. I don't like the IRS/US Gov't knowing any more than is absolutely necessary about my affairs. BTW, HSBC has proven itself to me perhaps the most corrupt bank worldwide and has paid $billions in fines.


YucaLandia


Jul 8, 2016, 8:27 AM

Post #19 of 32 (5873 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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One must report foreign account with a value of more than $10,000. I don't keep that much $$ in Mexico. The taxes on any gains I realize from investments are paid in Mexico. There is no requirement to report any of that to the IRS unless the total investment is above a certain amount. The IRS/US Gov't is throwing its weight around with International banks. Not using one is my choice. I don't like the IRS/US Gov't knowing any more than is absolutely necessary about my affairs. BTW, HSBC has proven itself to me perhaps the most corrupt bank worldwide and has paid $billions in fines.

.
There is no requirement to report any of that to the IRS


People considering opening Mexican bank accounts should note that this statement makes it sound like you will not have to file anything with the IRS if you keep any individual balance below $10,000, and keep your total overseas investments below $50,000,

Unfortunately, that's not correct for US citizens .

The simple act of opening a bank account or investment account (with any bank or financial institution that does business in the USA) ... can require that you register your accounts ... regardless of value ... with the IRS.

e.g. HSBC and other international banks are reporting their US citizen's accounts to the IRS, Treasury, & Commerce regardless of total $$ amount.

Why? Under US "Know Your Client" rules ... US Treasury requirements force both US citizens & the foreign banks to file **at a minimum** some combination of IRS Forms: Form W-9 and/or W8-BEN or W8-BEN-E.

Here's where the fun begins:
Since the Mexican banks must have these in their records, and must forward these completed forms to the US Treasury Dept (which also bounces them to the USA Commerce Dept for other potential filing requirements) ,,, we are required to slug through a process of filling out the forms with our Mexican banks.

This can mean spending 45 minutes or more of Mexican local bank employees figuring out what are the acceptable answers to complete the data fields in their on-line electronic for Forms W-9/W8-BEN/W8-BEN-E at each bank, for each account.



I've been doing taxes for 51 years, and I found one of the questions particularly unclear on the W8BEN. We checked a box that seemed to be the best fit, but HSBC's electronic (computer) version of W8BEN also included a box for "Other comments" on that question. I added a simple sentence that gave details that clarified our status.

BONG... Within 3 days, the IRS kicked the form back ... forcing us to make another trip to the HSBC bank, to file another replacement W8BEN. It was no big deal, as the IRS did not allow filling out 2 boxes on that question... just one box.. or fill out the "Other comments".

Why mention all this?
It took 2 bank trips, 2 1/2 hrs of waiting in line, and over an hour sitting at the HSBC bank rep's desk... because the HSBC employees did NOT know how the details of answering the W8BEN questions.

Oddly, the paper versions of W8BEN and online IRS versions of W8BEN do not show that particular problematic set of options.... Why? Realize that the IRS has mini-worksheets that the tax-preparer fills out, and the results of those mini-worksheets are transferred into the final IRS forms ... so, many US citizens never see the IRS mini-worksheets questions.

Anyway, notice that if you choose a big international bank to use in Mexico, even just to use for less than $10,000 USD of max balances... US citizens & that bank are required to file/register that with the IRS.

And yes, your Mexican bank may not YET have required you do this, but that does not mean that non-filing is legally compliant.

For us, HSBC did not follow IRS/Treasury/Commerce dept requirements on our account for the first 22 months since the rules were implemented in July 2014. Our HSBC branch only started meeting their US obligations on our account in May 2016, when we went in to try to set up auto-pay of our CFE bills.

...
Legal details on these things at 3 locations:

https://yucalandia.com/...-in-unexpected-ways/
and
https://yucalandia.com/...FATCA%20Requirements

Specifically, pay attention to FBAR requirements, FATCA Requirements, FINCEN requirements ... esp BSA E-Filing at:

https://yucalandia.com/living-in-yucatan-mexico/filing-fbar-foreign-financial-account-information-for-us-citizens-for-fincen-114-article/
.
.
**NOTE: If you do have over $10,000 aggregate/total in overseas accounts at any point during the year, and do not file... (IRS form 8938 ... + BSA E-Filing + W9/W8BEN etc)

the non-filing fines & penalties start at $10,000 USD .... and quickly move to $25,000 ...

If the IRS decides you had bad intents, they can forcibly take 45% of the value of the account(s).
*sigh*

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com

(This post was edited by YucaLandia on Jul 8, 2016, 8:33 AM)


YucaLandia


Jul 8, 2016, 8:54 AM

Post #20 of 32 (5865 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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Re FBAR, FATCA, FINCEN, Treasury Dept, Commerce Dept, and IRS requirements:

Ignorance of the law ... unfortunately ... is not accepted as an excuse for not complying.

For US citizens who are claiming to be official residents of a foreign country... this link describes the filing requirements:
(including the requirement to file a W8BEN)

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/international-taxpayers/claiming-tax-treaty-benefits

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


joaquinx


Jul 8, 2016, 1:23 PM

Post #21 of 32 (5839 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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The agent from HSBC, which is two blocks away, came to my house a few months ago and asked be to come to the bank and fill out a W9. I did and spent a half an hour doing so. Painless. He had me fill out both in Spanish and English, new form and an older one. I suppose he wanted both a belt and braces on those pants.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.


DavidHF

Jul 8, 2016, 8:06 PM

Post #22 of 32 (5805 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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A couple of pages of mostly BS to disagree with me? Sheesh.


YucaLandia


Jul 8, 2016, 8:58 PM

Post #23 of 32 (5799 views)

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Re: [DavidHF] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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A couple of pages of mostly BS to disagree with me? Sheesh.


Agreed.
With 4 sets of US govt regs to meet, there's no way to describe the requirements in a paragraph.

It would be really sweet if there were actually no requirements for US citizens having bank accounts in Mexico, but the $10,000 & $25,000 penalties make it worth telling newbies the requirements.

or... just let 'em think that there are no requirements.
;)

Happy Trails,
steve
-
Read-on MacDuff
E-visit at http://yucalandia.com


skier14

Jul 9, 2016, 8:40 PM

Post #24 of 32 (5754 views)

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Re: [YucaLandia] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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I would be interested to know what kinds of bank accounts are being discussed. I have had an account with Banamex for quite a few years. I remember the account person telling me that reporting to IRS was done if the account was more than $10,000 USD. I have never had more than $1-2 thousand at one time and usually fluctuates between hundreds of pesos to 25,000 pesos. When I was involved with Banamex-USA is when I might have had a couple of $1,000 transfers on successive days, which is no more. As far as I know, I draw 0 interest. Do you think I'm danger of problems with IRS?


joaquinx


Jul 10, 2016, 5:02 AM

Post #25 of 32 (5729 views)

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Re: [skier14] Current info on opening bank account in Mexico

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I would be interested to know what kinds of bank accounts are being discussed. I have had an account with Banamex for quite a few years. I remember the account person telling me that reporting to IRS was done if the account was more than $10,000 USD. I have never had more than $1-2 thousand at one time and usually fluctuates between hundreds of pesos to 25,000 pesos. When I was involved with Banamex-USA is when I might have had a couple of $1,000 transfers on successive days, which is no more. As far as I know, I draw 0 interest. Do you think I'm danger of problems with IRS?


You are alike a vast majority of expats in Mexico who never have more than 10,000 usd in their Mexican account except when they might be buying a car or buying/building a house. These rules are for those who have deposited large amounts in Mexican banks. Think six or seven figure usd accounts. Most of us are living on Social Security and Private Pensions and are using Mexican bank accounts as convenience and not a hiding place.
_______
My desire to be well-informed is currently at odds with my desire to remain sane.
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