State Banks

There are 3 state owned banks: Banco Nacional de Costa Rica, Banco de Costa Rica, BanCredito (formerly Banco Credito Agricola de Cartago). Banco de Costa Rica is the most profitable and possibly best-run state commercial bank. Banco Nacional is the largest state commercial bank in both assets and number of location, although Banco de Costa Rica has nationwide coverage also. Banco Credito Agricola de Cartage (now known as BanCredito) is the smallest state bank.

Private Banks

The private commercial banks are relatively small. The largest in assets are Banco Interfin, Banco San José, Banco Banex and BanCrecen. Banco San José offers a good mix of fast service, numerous locations (including several mini-branches in supermarkets) and big variety of services. They are a part of Grupo San José, which owns Credomatic, one of the largest issuers of credit cards in Costa Rica. Another private bank that many foreigners use is Scotiabank, this is a Canadian bank, so most of the staff speak excellent English.

The private banks offer you several advantages over the state banks, shorter lines, faster service, more English speaking staff and more agility in bringing new products and services into the market. The greatest disadvantage is the lack of deposit insurance. You will have to look closely at the corporation and its behavior when you use a private bank. That said, the government regulations do offer a measure of protection and your funds are safe under normal circumstances with any of the larger private banks.

Private banks have been undergoing a consolidation, with the total number of banks declining. Further consolidation is expected, as the size of the Costa Rican market is inadequate to sustain the number of banks that remain. A regional trend of consolidation is also evident, with recent purchases of Banco Banex by Panama's Banco del Istmo and Banco BFA by El Salvador's Banco Cuscatlán.

Local Banks

Presently, there are 2 banks in the immediate area, on the main road coming to Flamingo and before the turn for Potrero. Banks will exchange US dollars and US dollar travellers cheques for colones. There are bank machines available at both locations as well as across from the entrance to the Conchal Resort where you can access your personal accounts from home using the Cirrus network. The screens are in Spanish and English and you can withdraw funds in colones or US dollars.


BANCO de COSTA RICA : Oficina en Flamingo

  • Contact: Christopher Gonzalez or Carmen Mora
  • Phone: 506-654-4984 or 506-654-4984
  • Fax: 506-654-4986
  • Main Office: Apartado 10035-1000, San Jose, Costa Rica

Other banks can be found in Liberia, Santa Cruz and San Jose. These include:


Note: Links are provided for banks with English Language Websites wherever possible.