Ecuador Banks

Do you want to open a bank account in Ecuador? Here is what you will need to know.

The banking system in Ecuador is completely private. The country has some large banks, as well as many small, independent banks.

To open a bank account in Ecuador, you will need to show a passport or an identity card, your residence permit and a utility bill. If you have moved to Ecuador in order to work, you will need to show the bank a copy of your contract with your employer.

Some banks may ask for a reference.

Banks in Ecuador offer savings accounts, checking accounts and investment products.

Cooperativas, which are similar to American credit unions, offer savings accounts. Some cooperativas may also provide CDs and checking accounts.

There are ATMs all over Ecuador.

The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar.

1990s Banking Crisis

Between 1998 and 1999, there was a severe crisis in the Ecuadorian banking system. Almost three fourths of Ecuador's banks were forced to close. These included Filanbanco, which was then Ecuador's largest bank. This resulted in a countrywide financial crisis, with extremely high levels of unemployment.

As a result of the banking crisis, Ecuador was forced to abandon its old official currency, the sucre, and accept the American dollar as its new currency.