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Thread: How to open new bank account on Bonaire?

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    tholland is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Default How to open new bank account on Bonaire?

    Hi All,

    we are purchasing a new apartment on Bonaire and wondering what we need to open a local bank account to pay our Bonaire bills online. We won't be applying for residency quite yet (still have some years to go before we hit retirement age!)

    I don't suppose you can open a bank account from the USA online in Bonaire?

    thanks
    Anthony

  2. #2
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    When I did this, they wanted to see me in person.
    Owner, AquaVilla @ Waterlands Village (#6)
    PADI Instructor #374823

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    kob is offline Bonaire Lover SUPPORTING MEMBER - Bonaire Talker
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    No, cannot online. They will want to see you in person, with your passport (if you don't have a sedula) and you will likely need a reference letter from your US bank. MCB wanted 2 bank reference letters several years ago when we opened our accounts and I had to get them to accept 1 because I only dealt with one bank ... they accepted a reference letter from a Bonaire business I did business with for several years in lieu of the second bank reference.
    KOB
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    Lighthouse Beach Resort #32

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    tholland is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Thanks for that help KOB and jezlock!

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    DSearle is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Anthony, you can find a complete list of what you need to open a local bank account as a non-resident at http://www.bonairehelpdesk.com/?page_id=424. These requirements are the result of bank regulations, so they apply to all banks in Bonaire. In general, dealing with banks is more bureaucratic than in the States.
    Doug Searle
    bonairehelpdesk.com

  6. #6
    tholland is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Thanks Doug!

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    We just returned from Bonaire and opened an account during our trip. You will want to contact the bank well before you go and make an appointment. When we went into RBC they were booking over a month out. You also need to ensure your letter of reference is Attention to the bank. A "To whom it may concern" is not good enough. You will also need your passport for ID.We wanted to open an RBC account as we have an account with them in Canada bu were unable to do so during our 2 week stay. We ended up going with Banco di Carrib. They were very helpful and friendly and even accepted our "To whom it may concern" addressed letter under the condition we send them a proper one addressed to them when we returned home. The account was open the next day and we were able to make a deposit. Obtaining a debit card and online banking would take another 2 weeks. We opted just for online banking for the time being and they mailed us the security token to our address in Canada.

    All in all we're very happy!
    Gerald - Bonaire Dreams Condos

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    We will need to open a bank account soon, so all this information is really helpful. Thanks
    Are all the banks on Bonaire pretty similar in terms of services provided, interest rates etc? Or in other words - would you recommend any particular bank?
    Thanks
    Andy

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    DSearle is offline Bonaire Lover Bonaire Talker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Z View Post
    We will need to open a bank account soon, so all this information is really helpful. Thanks
    Are all the banks on Bonaire pretty similar in terms of services provided, interest rates etc? Or in other words - would you recommend any particular bank?
    Thanks
    Andy
    Andy, Banks are similar in the red tape required to do business with them, but they differ in interest rates and especially in fees. Most of the websites (listed on the Bonaire Help Desk page) will provide you with a list of fees. Personally, I have only done business with MCB, which I chose because my employer uses them and because they seem to have the most ATM locations. I have been satisfied with their service. Perhaps others can give you their experiences with other banks.

  10. #10
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    Thanks
    So far everyone I've been dealing with (notary, architect etc.) seems to have their accounts in MCB, hence why I was wondering if it's just a coincidence or is there a reason for it.

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