Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

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Space Cat
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Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by Space Cat » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:34 pm

I've searched and read through old threads (1, 2, 3) but most of them are from 2009-2011 and I hope something has changed in 5 years.

Let's suppose that I have residency, so opening an account in any Chilean bank is not an issue. I also know that the general recommendation is to have a foreign bank and use ATM but it would be really nice to have a full functioning local account too.

There's a goal to get foreign income that's not bound to some sort of invoice or personal contract. This kind of income comes from freelance markets, photostocks, etc. – they just send money to you and the only contract between you and them is a public agreement. Also sometimes they send it to services like Skrill, so it doesn't appear to be directly from them when transferred to a bank.

Is there a bank where you can:
– open an account in USD
– receive international wires without hours wasted each time to fill the paperwork
– or accept direct transfers to Visa cards
– in case some validation is required – use a public agreement, not a personally signed contract

Side questions in case anybody knows:
– how's Chilean PayPal doing? Is it easy to get money from PayPal to a Chilean bank account?
– any experience with Transferwise and Chilean banks?

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Putenio
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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by Putenio » Fri Aug 12, 2016 2:51 pm

Banco de Chile works for the USD acct., receiving wires, but has the usual paperwork documentation - but that same documentation can serve across time if you establish a relationship with your banker, are a known quantity, and sign all the required docs. Banco de Chile - Puerto Montt.

We can send the email of our personal banker if you need it via PM. She's not an English speaker, but has known us for years and knows the system.

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Space Cat
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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by Space Cat » Fri Aug 12, 2016 3:26 pm

Putenio wrote:Banco de Chile works for the USD acct., receiving wires, but has the usual paperwork documentation - but that same documentation can serve across time if you establish a relationship with your banker, are a known quantity, and sign all the required docs. Banco de Chile - Puerto Montt.

We can send the email of our personal banker if you need it via PM. She's not an English speaker, but has known us for years and knows the system.
Thank you, it would be great. My friend from Puerto Varas just got his residency and searching for a bank to get USD account, so it could help him.

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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by admin » Sun Aug 14, 2016 9:09 am

Forget Santander.

We do a lot, and I mean a lot of big U.S. dollar wires for clients that are held in escrow for them. In the millions of dollars a year. Buying and selling Real estate, inheritances, whatever. We are not grandma trading a few extra pesos for a few dollars, because she thinks the exchange rate will improve.

Well, we decided that it would be very nice to have a U.S. dollar account, because as we are always running in to a delay of one form or another with cases, and it is not always to our advantage to immediately convert a wire to pesos or the other way around. For example, in real estate deals, the money arrives, and the deal falls through for one reason or another at the last moment, and we have to send the wire back. No reason to convert it to pesos prematurely, just to convert it back to dollars.

You know what the morons at Santander told us?

They could not open us a U.S. dollar account because we were too high-risk.

WTF?

My wife and I are both Chilean citizens. We have been with the bank for over a decade. We are not asking for credit, which the bank has already approved us for anyway, and keeps increasing. We have big credit lines, credit cards, mortgages with them, investments, and our deposits of all sorts with them. We pay big for all their stupid overpriced "products" they like to push. We have no real long term debts of any sort. We might buy something or other on our credit cards once and a while, or take out a short-term mortgage to buy a property; but, we always pay them off quickly. We are hardly in danger of going insolvent any time soon.

We never could get them to explain what they meant by too high-risk. 6 months later, and they are still going around, and around, trying to decide if they will open the dollar account.

We are not changing anything, we are not already doing with them. The money we are transacting is already in their bank, and documented as legal and legit (way over documented). Even if it was not, they are still on the hook legally for accepting the transactions at all. The money is going across their counter, and often in to our peso accounts in the end anyway. Same legal and financial risk profile. We are just asking for an account to hold it in, in dollars not pesos.

It is not like they don't allow us to do high-risk transactions either. A few years ago, in a particularly interesting real estate purchase (Argentinean seller wanted cash to take back to Argentina due to taxes), had a client wire in $50,000, we order in advance the cash $100 dollar bills (talk about paperwork to do that in this day and age), and we walked out with a bag of $50,000 U.S. from their counter (by the way, $1,000 of the $100 bills we discovered were false at the counter, and we rejected them, another $2,000 or so were damaged or suspect).

You would think that is where they would have a problem. That is where someone would flip at the upper levels, and ask for a lot more information about what was going on. Nope. No one batted an eye, beyond the standard paperwork. Normally, we just take bank counter checks for security reasons, which again means the bank is directly on the line. Hell, we even take out U.S. bank counter checks, drawn on their U.S. wells Fargo account (you know the one the U.S. government keeps an eagle eye on for illegal transactions coming out of Latin America), and mail checks to people outside the country. Again, they are totally legally liable for those checks, once drafted, not us.

Still amazes me that the people working in banks in Chile, have a real problem understanding the fundamentals of how banks work in general, and international banking of any sort.
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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by HybridAmbassador » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:32 pm

Banks don’t like customers paying off debts too quickly.They love the ones that makes minimum payments every month!
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susiedillon
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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by susiedillon » Sun Aug 14, 2016 2:55 pm

Not sure if this will help you, but we have had a US dollar account in Chile ( Scotiabank ) for years. Admin. has suggested in the past that our banking experience in Chile was unusually easy but from the first moment we walked in the door of the HQ in Santiago they have been courteous and helpful. Over the past few years, Scotiabank has opened branches in many of the smaller towns - so we now can do most of our banking in our local town branch, though our account remains in Santiago. We regularly transfer US dollars from our bank in Canada - usually without hiccups(!!!!)

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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by HybridAmbassador » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:00 pm

susiedillon wrote:Not sure if this will help you, but we have had a US dollar account in Chile ( Scotiabank ) for years. Admin. has suggested in the past that our banking experience in Chile was unusually easy but from the first moment we walked in the door of the HQ in Santiago they have been courteous and helpful. Over the past few years, Scotiabank has opened branches in many of the smaller towns - so we now can do most of our banking in our local town branch, though our account remains in Santiago. We regularly transfer US dollars from our bank in Canada - usually without hiccups(!!!!)
susiedillon-san, it helps dealing with a Canadian bank for a Canadian citizens and dealing directly with a Canadian general manager at the ScotiaBank, more clout for being a Canadian. When I deal with a Japanese banks in Latin America, it is customarily better service rendered to me than just dealing with local banks.
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susiedillon
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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by susiedillon » Sun Aug 14, 2016 3:16 pm

There could be some truth in that, but nevertheless it could be worth a try for SpaceCat. Technically Scotiabank Chile is not the same as Scotiabank Canada - they behave as distinct entities.

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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by admin » Mon Aug 15, 2016 1:29 pm

HybridAmbassador wrote:Banks don’t like customers paying off debts too quickly.They love the ones that makes minimum payments every month!
Yea, I had the thought the other day that I should max out my credit cards and skip some payments, just to make the bank love me again.

Really, they make a lot of money off of us.

The problem with banks, and really any business in Chile of size, is they will be just fine for a year or two, and then out of the blue some arbitrary bureaucrat that was holding everything together (you do not even know) quits or get's replaced, and suddenly the whole operation goes south.

We keep several accounts, not just bank accounts (phones, whatever), at other companies because any one of them could go completely stupid at any moment, for any reason.
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Re: Transfer and keep USD in Chilean banks in 2016

Post by HybridAmbassador » Mon Aug 15, 2016 4:43 pm

One person in particular, wanted to establish credit so in the urgent future can get a car loan approved. At his bank, the manager told him, you have got to start with a credential in the credit world. He recommended to get a credit card at his bank using his savings in the bank as collateral..

So he did, being told by his bankster, make sure of not paying off the balance at once but partially. He waited for years for his credit worthiness strengthens then and that car loan needing day came.

He went to his bank and told the manager that he would like to get a car loan but soon found out that he is not good enough to get approved for a car loan...The manager told him, you needed to pay only the minimum but paying it off without incurring any interest for the bank to make money on him, so there was no individual credit accumulated. In order to accumulate credit in this world, pay every month a tiny portion instead of paying off at once!
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