Banking Hurdles for Rentistas
As if it were not difficult enough for those in the Rentista category, Banco Nacional has created additional and significantly more expensive requirements for those individuals wishing to use their services. The norm has been to
As if it were not difficult enough for those in the Rentista category, Banco Nacional has created additional and significantly more expensive requirements for those individuals wishing to use their services.
The norm has been to deposit $60,000 (equivalent to 24 monthly payouts of $2500) into an annuity account with a bank in the United States or in Costa Rica and have the bank write a letter that states the funds are available, in your name, and will be paid out every month as required upon receipt of your DIMEX. The letter itself is already a daunting task not all banks will comply with the requirement, and some will comply, but will balk at the required language.
One of our clients recently attempted to open such an account at Banco Nacional (BN) and found that the bank had changed its policies and will only open what is called an “Administration and Investment Trust”, and not a standard Rentista account. To open this account, the following steps and fees are required:
Step 1) Open a personal savings account. To do so, you must supply 6 months of previous (home country) bank statements for the account from which the $60,000 will be transferred, a letter from your previous banking institution, photo ID, address in Costa Rica, phone number, and email address. This level of paperwork is not unusual – banks in countries other than your home country have stringent Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. In this case, BN must comply with Law 8204, meaning they must have clear understanding of the fund’s origin.
Step 2) Transfer the $60,000 into the personal savings account at BN.
Step 3) Banco Nacional will now work to open the Administration and Investment Trust account. This request must be made to BN’s main San Jose branch in advance. You will have to go directly to the office in San Jose, however, it can be signed in your local office. The first step is to deposit $61,977.50 (more on this amount below) to their US account. They will draft the Administration and Investment Trust contract, and it can be signed in any one of their branches. Once the contract is signed and the trust is activated, BN will move the $60,000 into the trust. The bank will then create 24 individual Certificates of Deposit of $2500 until you receive your DIMEX, at which point they will start the monthly payouts. They will also issue the letter required to comply with Migración (Immigration).
Now for the fees.
This is the process we just learned of:
To open the trust account, Banco Nacional charges a one time fee of $250.00 + 13% IVA = $282.50.
There is an annual fee to the account of $1500.00 + 13% IVA, totaling $1695.00.
The total mentioned in Step 3 ($61,977.50) equals the $60,000 plus these two fees.
Let’s do some math. If you were to use Banco Nacional for a 1-year period while you await residency, plus the three years of temporary residency before obtaining permanent residency status, you will have paid Banco Nacional $7062.50.
Frankly, Outlier Legal is not suggesting the use of one specific bank over the other, but we do know that there are institutions that are easier to work with. As part of our mission to go beyond for our clients, we are working to establish relationships with other banks to make this difficult process a bit easier, and much less expensive. If you’ve had a great experience with a Costa Rican bank in establishing your Rentista account, please let us know. We’d love to help our expat community by making one more thing a bit easier in their, we are always looking to make your journey to Costa Rica easier and with less stress.