Peru’s banking system underwent privatisation during the 1990s and expats have a number of options when it comes to banking in Peru. The country has a modern banking system which is regulated by the Central Reserve Bank of Peru.
Money in Peru
The official currency is the Nuevo Sol (PEN), which is divided into 100 céntimos. It is commonly referred to as Sol.
Notes: 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 PEN.
Coins: 1, 2 and 5 PEN and 5, 10, 20 and 50 céntimos.
Banking in Peru
Expats will find that banking in Peru is relatively easy. Both local and international banks operate in the country and most Peruvian banks offer modern facilities and services, including telephone and internet banking.
Expats should be aware that there have been some issues with counterfeit foreign currency in the country, particularly US dollars, so when exchanging money, it’s best to do so at a legitimate establishment.
Banking hours vary with most branches open from 10am to 8pm Monday to Friday. Most banks are also open on Saturdays.
Opening a bank account
Foreigners are able to open a bank account in the local currency or in some foreign currencies, including dollars. In order to open a Peruvian bank account, expats need to provide their passport and have a foreign residence card. Proof of address and proof of income may also be required.
Peruvian bank charges can be quite high and most banks charge for every transaction, so it’s best to shop around when deciding which bank to open an account with.
ATMs in Peru
ATMs are available across the country. Foreign bank cards are not always accepted in ATMs so it’s best to check first if wanting to draw cash.
Peru remains a largely cash-based society and credit card payments remain relatively low. That said, credit cards are accepted in major shops, restaurants and hotels in Peruvian cities.
Taxes in Peru
Peruvian residents pay tax on a progressive scale on their world-wide income, while non-residents are only taxed on income earned in Peru. For tax purposes, a tax resident is someone who has lived in Peru for at least 183 days in a 12-month period, but the days don’t have to be consecutive.
The tax year in Peru runs from 1 January to 31 December.