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Banks in Costa Rica

August 5th, 2007

For some time I have wanted to write about banking in Costa Rica. Although the overall view of banking in Costa Rica is covered in two location in The REAL Costa Rica, see here and also here, those two pages really provide only an overview of the Costa Rica banking system and how it functions. They do not speak of actually dealing with individual banks and how it is to do business on a daily basis and to interact with individual banks.

There are many banks here, and no one person could possible review all of them unless they actually had accounts in all banks, a scary thought indeed. I use three banks here, one state bank and two private banks, so today I am going to rate these banks based on my experiences over the past several years. This is a very long post, but I saw no way to shorten it.

If this topic interests you, then read on!  Also, see my follow up regarding BAC San Jose.

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Better Interest Rates in Costa Rica?

July 28th, 2007

After the demise of the several high interest houses a few years ago, Costa Rica lost its appeal as a place to get thirty plus percent annual interest rates in a supposed secure offshore environment. Couple that with the influx of baby-boomers and retirees and I often get asked for secure locations where money can be kept at decent interest rates. Here are some of my ideas, and while I am for sure not a financial planner or expert in these areas, I can shed a bit of light on your options here.

Our money needs change as we age. A thirty-something person or couple can afford a lot more risk in their money management style knowing that they have another 30-40 years to “balance” the ups and downs. A bad stock decision is far less important at age 32 than at age 62. Therefore, I am directing this post to the over 50 crowd who are not in the market for a $2 million beach front home in Costa Rica. If you can afford that, then you have little need for anything I have to say.

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BCR Begins Issuing Driver Licenses and Passports

July 27th, 2007

Costa Rica has certainly never been known as efficient and this most assuredly includes private business.Generally, the policy here is to find the least convenient, most time consuming, most paper wasting, most resource expending way to do something, then do it with the most people all while making you wait in the longest possible lines. It is this alone that droves A types to consider suicide. Continue reading »

Central Bank Changes and the Effect on Currency Exchanges and Interest

October 29th, 2006

A couple of weeks ago, the Central Bank of Costa Rica decided to stop the ages-old policy of setting a daily buy/sell rate (exchange rate) for converting dollars to colones and vice versa. This daily exchange rate was known as the tipo de cambio, and was generally a very small spread, maybe 2.5-4 colones. It changed every day, increasing a fraction of a colone and thus devaluing the currency against the dollar… daily.

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