Deadline to update your bank details is Sunday or face account closure

December 18th, 2013 ( If you have a bank account in Costa Rica, you have until Sunday, December 22nd to comply with “Know your Customer” regulations in order to avoid having your accounts being frozen or possibly closed.


Sunday is the deadline given by the Costa Rican Banking Association (ABC) to comply with “Know Your Customer” regulations.  The process began on September 16th.


In order to comply with the regulation, account holders need to visit their bank and complete a “Know Your Customer” form.


Those holding accounts in their own name must also provide identification documents, and financial information such as payroll stubs, income certifications, proof of salary or income, list of their employers, and other information.


Those holding accounts in the name of a business must also complete the Know Your Customer form, as well as provide financial information and certifications including accounting records, audited financial statements for the last fiscal period, and additional information.


Those whole fail to comply face having their accounts frozen or closed.

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    • Yeims

      Right in the middle of all Christmas activities, taxes, corporate responsibilities, tourism, family matters and all that, the banks give us a deadline of about a week’s notice to go stand in interminable lines to watch employees give their behavioral impressions of a tortise with nothing at all to do. Where WERE these people when the brains were handed out? Buying soccer tickets?

      • roberto

        Went to 3 different Davivienda branches today and got 3 different lists of the requirements for a corporate account. Beam me up Scotty!

    • roberto

      Beware of the uninformed bank employee who asks you for unnecessary information. A friend of mine sold his condo last August and deposited $125K with BAC San Jose cashiers checks into his BNCR account, no questions asked, not one. Then last week he went to update his information and the employee said that he needed to get a letter from the buyer stating where she got the money to buy the condo….5 months after the deposit. Unbelievable! The bank had copies of the cashiers checks so the manager told him, 45 mins. later, that the letter from the buyer was not necessary.

    • dc3 rangerover

      That is why you have a panama account folks

      • mhogan

        And since Costa Rica leads the way in Latin America money laundering, Panama banks do not accept transfers from Costa Rican banks. I can understand moving about money from ill-gotten sources, but what gives CR (or any country for that matter) the right to dictate what we can and cannot do with money earned legitimately. Oh, I forgot, it wants to tax that money, even if they have no right to it (like after-tax money). It’s all about control and power and greed and social justice (aka expanding and rewarding government).

    • Pretty miffed

      We go on to our BCR web site about six – eight times a week…never saw a notice about this…thanks ICR.

    • horst tuckow

      It would be helpful to know the Spanish name of the form or law…since hardly anybody at my bank hablas ingles!?

      • roberto

        Asociación Bancaria Costarricense (ABC) and the Consejo Nacional de Supervisión del Sistema Financiero, establecida en la Ley N.° 8204. The forms are in Spanish.

      • Timothy Williams

        Tell them you need to actualizar su informacion bancaria para “Conozca a su cliente,” Ley 8204.

      • Timothy Williams

        Here is an article regarding this matter from El Financiero in Spanish. Might be helpful to print it off and take it with you if your bank’s employees still don’t know what’s going on:

    • Ken Morris

      As usual, there are conflicting reports about whether or not these forms are needed now and by whose authority, plus I believe the forms have been required for a long time. I know I’ve had to comply with them multiple times.

      Unfortunately, as with other so-called banking regulations, a lot of the enforcement seems to depend upon the particular bank, employee, and no doubt phase of the moon. Basically, when a bank employee wants to aggravate your life, there’s not a whole lot you can do except smile and follow orders.

      Personally, I wouldn’t raise the issue of complying with a bank clerk, since you probably already have and there’s no sense asking for hassles, but I would make sure I had cash in case the bank does do something wicked like freeze your account.

      Actually, personally I wouldn’t use CR banks any more than I had to anyway. I have accounts in two different banks here, one public and the other private, and IMO neither bank treats customers fairly. Fees that were never disclosed are levied, transfers are conveniently delayed to enable the bank to make free interest, critical facts like interest rates are hidden, and basically who needs to be treated like a peasant in a hacienda system? I’m far from in love with US banks, but at least they (perhaps because of consumer laws) don’t pull the kind of nonsense on customers that CR banks do.

      PS. Have you ever had your signature challenged? I have at one of my CR banks. What can you do when a clerk with no training at all decides that your signature isn’t your signature?

    • K Schnelle

      Mi amigos, this rule is being enforced now, and appears it will be for all future years due to the Costa Rican government having recently signed an agreement with the U.S. to comply with new laws being forced upon foreign financial institutions (FFIs) worldwide. You may have heard of FATCA by now (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act), and its cousin, FBAR (Foreign Bank Account Reporting). Costa Rica is only one of about a dozen countries in the world at this point who have signed the agreement with the U.S. Although enforcement of it will be delayed by the U.S. till July 1, 2014, FFIs are already gathering the info. They won’t necessarily just turn around and pass it on to the IRS (so they say), but must keep it handy in the event of an IRS inquiry that they must (supposedly) show criminal intent to the FFI before the info could be shared about any particular account holder. The CR banks are trying to get this info in a knee-jerk fashion before 12/31 deadline which happens to coincide with when Americans are supposed to value any bank accounts in which the balance exceeded $10k on any single day during that calendar year. They think this will show good intent with compliance with the FBAR/FATCA so they can stay in policital bed with Uncle (sam). One of the worst tax laws ever conceived, and is being forced upon the entire world. US arrogance at its best.