Includes special features of this country’s banking system and rules/laws that might impact U.S. business.
Last Published: 7/18/2018
Overall, the banking system remains stable.  According to information from the Superintendence of Banks (SIB), the Guatemalan banking system comprises 18 commercial banks, which held an estimated USD 41.6 billion in assets in 2017.  The six largest banks control about 88 percent of total assets.  In addition, there are 13 non-bank financial institutions specializing in investment operations, three licensed exchange houses, twenty-eight insurance companies, six credit card issuers, fourteen bonded warehouses, and six offshore banks which, by law, are affiliated with domestic financial groups. The Superintendence of Banks is responsible for regulating the financial services industry.

Guatemalan banking regulatory authorities and the Guatemalan Congress have been actively working on new laws to strengthen the financial sector.  In August 2012, the Guatemalan Congress approved reforms to the Banking and Financial Groups Law and to the Central Bank Organic Law that strengthen supervision and prudential regulation of the financial sector and resolution mechanisms for failed or failing banks.  Financial sector regulations passed by the Guatemalan Congress in April 2002 have increased the scope of supervision and brought local practices more in line with international standards. The 2002 regulations included Banking and Financial Groups Law, a Financial Supervision Law, and a Central Bank Law.

The Guatemalan Congress also passed strong anti-money laundering legislation in December 2001. The Financial Action Task Force removed Guatemala from the list of non-cooperating countries in July 2004. Terrorism finance legislation was passed in August 2005.  For more information on the banking system please read the section Capital Markets and Portfolio Investment of the Investment Climate Chapter.

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