Offshore Costa Rica

Offshore Costa Rica is a growing hub for business and investing.  There are many factors that promote Costa Rica as a destination for business offshore; Costa Rica enjoys market access to 2.4...

Costa Rica Offshore Banking

Costa Rica offshore banking can safely be regarded as international banking as currently there are no pure ‘offshore banks’ in Costa Rica as one would find in the classic tax haven.  Costa Rica...

Banks in Costa Rica

The first efforts to establish a bank in Costa Rica occurred between 1847-1849 under the leadership of Dr. Jose Maria Castro Madriz.  His ideas were taken to Parliament through a proposition to...

Banks in Costa Rica

The first efforts to establish a bank in Costa Rica occurred between 1847-1849 under the leadership of Dr. Jose Maria Castro Madriz. His ideas were taken to Parliament through a proposition to found a bank in Costa Rica which would be named the National Bank of Costa Rica.

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Madriz efforts were in vain due to the challenges faced with differences of personal and political views at the time. However, again in 1857, the idea of creating banks in Costa Rica came up again, especially now that trade and commercial, agriculture and population were on a steady incline, it became even more evident that banks in Costa Rica were needed to facilitate trade and commerce and mobilize economic resources to buy company.

An agreement for the establishment of the first Costa Rica bank was established under the government of Juan Rafael Mora and was to be concluded on 1858 by way of a new contract under which the first bank in Costa Rica was founded by the name of the National Bank of Costa Rica, and known also as Bank of Medina, reflecting the name of one of the signatories of the agreement Crisanto Medina.

In June of the very same year, 1857, the bank in Costa Rica was opened and began to transact but operations were to come to a close in late March 1858 due to administrative failure and challenges faced in distributing capital, while the government was overthrown some 5 months later. With this scenario, the possibility of establishing new banks in Costa Rica seemed bleak.

In 1863, the Anglo-Costarican Bank was formed as a limited partnership with a capital base of USD100,000, as an investment venture among Costa Ricans and English men, who also were appointed first directors of the bank in Costa Rica. Operations began in July 1863 as a private venture, with no obligations to the government. However, the close relations that the director and the then President had made it possible for the Costa Rica bank founders to obtain incentives and eventually establish business dealings with the government.

For the first time in Costa Rica, check payments and credit transactions were possible, a branch was established in Puntarenas (the largest province of Costa Rica) as well as in Panama and Guatemala. Thanks to the desire of the bank’s founders, these branches were established and a wider variety of Costa Rica banking services were eventually made available. In 1864, this bank in Costa Rica proceeded to issue its on bills, and then in 1877 transformed from being a limited company to a limited liability corporation (Sociedad Anónima).

With a foundation set for establishing more banks in Costa Rica, additional banks were established during 1867 and 1876. Both private and government owned banks in Costa Rica were created but funding capital was a challenge presented that led to the closure of a few of those banks in Costa Rica.

In the years to come, banking in Costa Rica expanded and eventually gave rise to an array of Costa Rican banking entities that aimed to serve certain fundamental needs of the public, such as housing through loans, and which targeted certain sectors within the public based on the range of services offered and requirements established for account opening, among others.

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