In Lima you find banks nearly at every corner. But finding a reliable bank is as difficult as in any other city around the world. Being here only on holidays, you might not need a bank at all. For changing money you should better use exchange offices anyway and for drawing cash use ATM's that are placed all over the city. If you are a customer of an international bank that is present in Peru you should preferably use their ATM's. That way you can most probably save the sometimes quite high fees for international withdrawals. Check with your bank at home what charges you have to expect before you leave!
Opening an account is easy when you are a Peruvian resident. As far as we could find out, most banks have tightened their policies in the last years and don't allow tourists to open an account anymore. But as usual here the exception proves the rule. If you can open an account, be aware that banks in Peru charge literally for everything and sometimes their service leaves a lot to be desired. So check with the different banks on what they offer, so you can determine which one meets your needs the best. Bank debit cards and online banking are standard. Compare rates and take care of hidden charges!
Listed below are only a few of the bigger national and international banks with some of their agencies. For more info please check their websites, but unfortunately most of them are only available in Spanish.
The Banco de la Nación is the official Peruvian government bank realizing financial transactions in the public and private sectors, as well as at both domestic and international levels. It is an entity belonging to the Peruvian Ministry of Economy and Finance.
Interbank has apart from their "normal" agencies also offices inside the Vivanda and Plaza Vea supermarkets numbering over 250 locations. This bank network provides ATM services under the GlobalNet brand, accepting international debit and credit cards.
BBVA Continental is a Peruvian bank and subsidiary of Holding Continental (an affiliate of BBVA) which holds 92.08% of its equity. The bank was established in 1951 and today the bank conducts its business through over 200 branches located in different regions of Peru.
Citibank, known as a major international bank, is the consumer banking arm of financial services giant Citigroup. Citibank has about 13 agencies in the Lima Metropolitan area and two agencies in other provinces (Arequipa and Trujillo).
The Banco de Comercio is a Peruvian bank owned with a majority share by the Peruvian Military Police Pension Fund (CPMP - Caja de Pensiones Militar Policial) operating in the country since 2004 with about 30 agencies in the Lima Metropolitan area and 4 agencies in provinces (Arequipa, Iquitos, Pisco and Piura).
Scotiabank Perú is a Peruvian Bank subsidiary of the Canadian Bank of Nova Scotia. It is the result of the merger of Peruvian banks Wiese Sudameris and Banco Sudamericano. The bank's presence in Peru dates to 1997 and today the bank is the third biggest finance company of Peru.
The history of the bank in Peru began in 1964 as finance and construction promoter. In 1986 the bank became the today's Banco Financiero. The main shareholder in the Peruvian operation is the Banco Pichincha from Ecuador.
Banco Azteca operates in Mexico, Panama, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru and Brazil and is already among the largest banks in Mexico in terms of coverage. The bank started its operations in Peru 2008 with a wide country coverage.
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In loving memory of "Jack" & "Lola"