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Thread: Bank recommendation

  1. #1
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    Bank recommendation

    Looking forward to your recommendation/experience. Very difficult to choose, limited banking information on internet. We need to pay our utility bills. In previous posts there were suggestions of paying directly to utility companies. Does anybody know if you can pay SETAR directly? We are from Canada, we are not using USD and do not have a management company as we are not renting our property (or at least not yet).

    Thanks,
    Anna
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  2. #2
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    Hi

    Quote Originally Posted by gortvaan View Post
    Looking forward to your recommendation/experience. Very difficult to choose, limited banking information on internet. We need to pay our utility bills. In previous posts there were suggestions of paying directly to utility companies. Does anybody know if you can pay SETAR directly? We are from Canada, we are not using USD and do not have a management company as we are not renting our property (or at least not yet).

    Thanks,
    Anna
    We too are from Canada. We have used ArubaBank for 15 years. We pay Elmar, WEB and Setar and others online from our ArubaBank account. No problems. The only issue we have experienced has been with money transfers from Royal Bank of Canada to our account there. CThere is an intermediary bank, Wells Fargo and sometimes they mess up. Not often. So there is my recommendation. If you need more advice let me know. Happy to help.

    Also. Our account is a florins account. A lot cheaper to maintain than a US Dollar account The monthly fee for a US account is a lot higher
    Last edited by aquaman; 07-02-2020 at 12:14 PM.

  3. #3
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    I had an account with both ArubaBank and CMB over the past 10 years and have been far from happy with either of them. Monthly fees for a Non-Resident checking account went from about US $10 a month to US $25 a month last year and to be honest it was the last straw. In my opinion they really seem to treat Non residents as cash cows to be milked for as much cash in fees as they possibly can.

    I found CMB marginally better than ArubaBank but last year I shut all my accounts and wrote a detailed letter outlining my reasons for closing, I wasn't surprised to not get a response back from them.

    This sounds crazy but I have found paying all my bills in cash to be by far the cheapest (and most straightforward) option. Once or twice a year I just turn up at Elmar, Web or Setar and just pay in 6 or 12 months in advance as average payment of monthly bills can be calculated after a few months occupation. For the bills like water that can be a bit unpredictable I pay a bit more as a cushion in case of leaks etc. I just take the cash out of the ATM or bring dollars and make the payments. It's far cheaper (and less hassle) than having the bank accounts I had. I appreciate this may not suit everyone but I'll tell you one thing... It's a hell of a lot cheaper than running a bank account in Aruba as a Non Resident.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Who checks on your property while you are not there?

    We opted not to have a bank account because of all their fees and regulations(we are US) and we just did not feel comfortable with any of the banks we went to when we were looking for a bank. Our utilities are billed through the condo association. The association/office gets the bills from Setar, Elmar and WEB and bills us two months later along with the currant months condo fees in one bill which is paid by the property manager. They also pay for our taxes since we are not there when the bills are mailed. Our only other expenses that we pay ourselves are car registration and inspection, condo and car insurance. We take cash out of the ATM(they only accept florins for registration and inspection) for those expenses.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by robin View Post
    Who checks on your property while you are not there?

    We opted not to have a bank account because of all their fees and regulations(we are US) and we just did not feel comfortable with any of the banks we went to when we were looking for a bank. Our utilities are billed through the condo association. The association/office gets the bills from Setar, Elmar and WEB and bills us two months later along with the currant months condo fees in one bill which is paid by the property manager. They also pay for our taxes since we are not there when the bills are mailed. Our only other expenses that we pay ourselves are car registration and inspection, condo and car insurance. We take cash out of the ATM(they only accept florins for registration and inspection) for those expenses.
    I'm on the island about half the year, off and on and have friends / alarm company who check on the place regularly and attend if there's a problem. I have never had any doubts about the reliability, honesty or security of any of the banks. If anything they have immense and detailed requirements around money laundering questionnaires and making sure the money funding the accounts is from reputable sources which I suppose is a good thing but its just a pain to comply with for ordinary tourists and holiday makers simply wanting to pay their local utility bills and who want to transfer a few thousand dollars a year into a local bank account to do this. I needed to provide written references from 2 x other banks I am a customer of overseas before they would bestow an account upon me. I think for one of the banks a reference also had to be Notarised. That was one of the most disappointing things when I closed my accounts.... All the work it had taken to open them in the first place was then wasted... But it was the right decision for me...

    Again, as with many institutions on the island, the bureaucracy can seem to us to be soul destroying but I always remind myself that I am the lucky "Visitor" on our hosts beautiful island and remembering this I try then to bite my tongue (it is hard sometimes) respect the rules and ways of doing things, even if they seem very different to what I'm used to... I suppose strangely, that's why we all travel to Aruba and other countries, to experience other cultures and different ways of doing things...

    Gortvaan... I wouldn't dissuade you from opening account, it will take a while but you will feel a great sense of achievement when you finally get your hands on your ATM Card . And to be honest for a number of years when I couldn't visit so often a bank account was the only option for me.

    Both ArubaBank and CMB have details online I think about what details you now need to provide for Non Resident Accounts and if the requirements are too onerous you can always consider a Property Manager like robin uses but solely for bill payments etc or you can just pay your bills a long way in advance like I do...
    Last edited by elephant_guy; 07-02-2020 at 04:47 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Thank you very much for the replies. We are considering all the options but I think I am done with Arubabank. I got referred to a person there (an account manager), I asked her 5 questions in 3 e-mails, never got an unswear for any of my questions - but she keeps repeating that if I do not have a mortgage with them I must deposit and keep maintaining minimum $60,000 USD in order to have an account in Arubabank. She insists even after I copied and sent her info from their web site that states otherwise.
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  7. #7
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    Hi, you might want to consider CIBC FCIB https://www.cibcfcib.com/ a subsidiary of CIBC. For non-residents they offer an account in florins only, monthly fees I believe 3 awg. They do not offer USD account. You can start account application online.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by manasr View Post
    Hi, you might want to consider CIBC FCIB https://www.cibcfcib.com/ a subsidiary of CIBC. For non-residents they offer an account in florins only, monthly fees I believe 3 awg. They do not offer USD account. You can start account application online.
    I went in to the CIBC branch a year or two ago at Tanki Flip but they point blank stated that they didn't do non resident accounts in Aruba. I'm very pleased to hear that this policy may have changed. Manasr... Have you got one of these accounts as a non resident now or do you know any non resident who holds one now. I checked the fees PDF and the regular Resident account (Local Currency) fees are indeed AFL 3 a month but there is no reference to Non Resident accounts. Any further info would be most useful.

    https://www.cibcfcib.com/binaries/co...abw-retail.pdf

    Thanks...

    Mick
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  9. #9
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    A little late to the dance but...here is our experience. We have a US account at CMB. Use to walk in and deposit cash....they stopped that procedure a few years ago...when I calmed down (lol) it made sense. No paper trail as we do not rent out our home and CMB tries to follow international guidelines to prevent money laundering. We had to jump through hoops 12 years ago...but again...money laundering issue. All our bills are paid by the bank (except septic which is not monthly). Yes they charge a fee but it is well worth it ....I refuse to stand in any line to give someone my money! I transfer $ from US bank to CMB. Sure came in handy during the shut down. I had two friends scrambling (loans from good friends on the island) to get bills paid during the covid shut down. Me...no worries! Nothing is perfect...hope you find a method and bank that makes sense to you!
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  10. #10
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    On the CIBC Bank suggestion I went back into the branch at Tanki Flip again yesterday and they are indeed doing a Non-Resident checking account for AFL 3 a month. This beats the socks off (by a mile) CMB or ArubaBank as regards monthly fees. You can transfer funds from overseas, pay bills and you get a ATM Card etc.

    Again, because it's Aruba, the form filling looks like it's pretty onerous and you have to produce a bank reference, employers reference, proof of property ownership and a number of other identity documents. There is also another bank reference proforma that looks like CIBC then send to your bank (despite the initially submitted bank reference) and finally there's a Statement of Income/Outgoings declaration. This is a fair list of stuff but to be honest not much more than CMB or ArubaBank asked for. I'm going to start the process and see how it goes...

    Here's the text of the first letter which lists requirements to open a Non Resident account. Also there's an email for the person dealing with such accounts at the bottom in case anyone wants to apply...

    Mick


    "Non -resident requirements
    The following documents are required for a non-resident account:
    o One Bank Reference letter in original format and addressed to CIBC First Caribbean Aruba or the applicant. The bank letter must be coming from where the funds will be originating. o An employer's recommendation letter in original format stating the job title, yearly and/or monthly salary/ income and beginning date of employment.
    o Two valid ID's (at least 2 months before expiry date) and one should be a passport.
    o If client is self-employed and the income is derived from the business, tax return of the business is required or audited financial statements of the last two years.
    o An official document testifying the residential address. This can be in a form of a utility bill, a census registration indicating the residential address, tax income declaration forms or a bank statement.
    o Proof of ownership of property in Aruba (the notary deed) with the payment back-ups.
    o Source of Wealth must be declared with proper back-ups.
    o Three last pay slips or income tax declaration of the last two years.
    o The rental agreements of the properties that are being rented out.
    o Registration of all businesses owned worldwide
    If you may have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (297) 5225605 or mail
    Jarissa.Gutierrez-Boekhoudt@cibcfcib.com"
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