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Further detail on new laws regulating Panama's trust business

Posted on 2017-08-10

Further detail has emerged about legislation recently proposed, or enacted, to regulate Panama's trust business.
In the May 9, 2017 edition of the STEP LATAM News Digest, we reported that Draft Law 412 had been approved by Panama's National Assembly on its third reading - it proposes amendments to Law 1 of 1984 (on the trust business).
More recently, Law 21 of May 10, 2017 was passed, establishing dispositions for the regulation and supervision of trustees and the trust business. Arias law firm explains that Law 21 also issues other provisions that modify articles of the Fiscal Code, Law 47 of 2013, which adopts a custodial regime for bearer shares and Law 23 of 2015 on the prevention of money laundering and regulation of non-financial obliged parties.
Law 21 enables the Superintendence of Banks to regulate and supervise trustees holding licenses or those authorized by law to exercise the trust business and; to ensure the proper functioning of trust business. Furthermore, explains Arias, the law authorises trustees to carry out the following activities:
  • Setting up and managing trusts
  • Managing bank accounts and escrow accounts
  • Providing financial consulting services
  • Acting as representatives with the right to vote at Shareholders’ or Partners’ meetings and acting as representatives of bondholders and other securities
  • Participating, or being an intermediary, in the constitution and/or administration of corporate structures, trusts and foundations
  • Acting as custodians of shares, documents and securities
Exercising any other activity related to the trustee activity authorized by the superintendent in a general or individual way.
Source: STEP

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