Opening a bank account

pjniki

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My partner and I have owned an apartment in BA for 12 years. We are residents of Canada and both Canadian citizens, although he is also an Argentinean. We bought in the sunny days of the Nestor Kirchner presidency. At the time it was part of retirement planning since his family was all there and we were planning to spend at least part of the year there. Since that time, his family is now all either in Canada or in the process of relocating to Canada.

We are in the final stages of closing on the sale and the last hurdle is getting our money out of the country, approx $100k USD.

What we know (please correct me if I have been misinformed): The only way to do a wire transfer out of the country and not spend a fortune is to have a bank account in Argentina from which we can transfer the money to ourselves. Our other option is to use an institution like Banco Piano (which we used to send the money down 12 years ago), but it looks like their fees are around 20% for this kind of transaction and we're obviously not keen on that. (And of course the time-honored tradition of carrying $100k in cash which we aren't even considering.)

So, the question: How long does it take to open an account in Buenos Aires? My partner has his DNI (with our Canadian address), we both have CUIT from having to pay AFIP taxes (which are complete now). We both have utility bills in our names at the BA address. Would this be sufficient to open an account and how long does it typically take? The specific banks we are considering are Banco Frances, because the buyers have an account there or HSBC because we have a USD account here in Canada we'd be happy to consider any other bank that might be accomodating.

Obviously, with the deteriorating situation, we'd like to do this sooner rather than later.

Thanks for any information and suggestions.
 

artisans

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My partner and I have owned an apartment in BA for 12 years. We are residents of Canada and both Canadian citizens, although he is also an Argentinean. We bought in the sunny days of the Nestor Kirchner presidency. At the time it was part of retirement planning since his family was all there and we were planning to spend at least part of the year there. Since that time, his family is now all either in Canada or in the process of relocating to Canada.

We are in the final stages of closing on the sale and the last hurdle is getting our money out of the country, approx $100k USD.

What we know (please correct me if I have been misinformed): The only way to do a wire transfer out of the country and not spend a fortune is to have a bank account in Argentina from which we can transfer the money to ourselves. Our other option is to use an institution like Banco Piano (which we used to send the money down 12 years ago), but it looks like their fees are around 20% for this kind of transaction and we're obviously not keen on that. (And of course the time-honored tradition of carrying $100k in cash which we aren't even considering.)

So, the question: How long does it take to open an account in Buenos Aires? My partner has his DNI (with our Canadian address), we both have CUIT from having to pay AFIP taxes (which are complete now). We both have utility bills in our names at the BA address. Would this be sufficient to open an account and how long does it typically take? The specific banks we are considering are Banco Frances, because the buyers have an account there or HSBC because we have a USD account here in Canada we'd be happy to consider any other bank that might be accomodating.

Obviously, with the deteriorating situation, we'd like to do this sooner rather than later.

Thanks for any information and suggestions.
Here's a contact information at HSBC Argentina. Someone gave me her contact when I arrived and she took up my case and they opened an account, eventually, based on my having an HSBC Premier US account. She is HSBC Premier Rep.
Be polite, persistent and be able to communicate in Spanish.
Wish you luck, they seem a bit overwhelmed at this time. More than the usual.
I should add, they just advised a transfer funds limit TO EXTERIOR of U$10,000 cap per month for residents and U$1,000 cap for non-residents.
Nathalie Mariani
PREMIER EXECUTIVE | ATENCIÓN REMOTA
Av Martín García 464, PB. CP 1268, Capital Federal.
Tel (011) 4132-2464 directo
Int 29713
Contact Center Premier 24hs 0810 999 7736 - Desde el exterior 1-908-773-6437
nathalie.mariani@hsbc.com.ar
http://www.hsbcpremier.com.ar
 
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pjniki

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Here's a contact information at HSBC Argentina. Someone gave me her contact when I arrived and she took up my case and they opened an account, eventually, based on my having an HSBC Premier US account. She is HSBC Premier Rep.
Be polite, persistent and be able to communicate in Spanish.
Wish you luck, they seem a bit overwhelmed at this time. More than the usual.
I should add, they just advised a transfer funds limit TO EXTERIOR of U$10,000 cap per month for residents and U$1,000 cap for non-residents.
Nathalie Mariani
PREMIER EXECUTIVE | ATENCIÓN REMOTA
Av Martín García 464, PB. CP 1268, Capital Federal.
Tel (011) 4132-2464 directo
Int 29713
Contact Center Premier 24hs 0810 999 7736 - Desde el exterior 1-908-773-6437
nathalie.mariani@hsbc.com.ar
http://www.hsbcpremier.com.ar
thanks Artisans. The buyers are rich and have money in the USA and the simple, if unpalatable, solution will probably be to negotiate a lower final price and have them wire the money from the States rather than Argentina. If we hadn't been screwed around badly by AFIP who never credited our tax payment wire transfers to our account (and we now have proof from the bank that they were credited the day after they were sent), we would have closed in August before all this mess started erupting.
 

London2Baires

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thanks Artisans. The buyers are rich and have money in the USA and the simple, if unpalatable, solution will probably be to negotiate a lower final price and have them wire the money from the States rather than Argentina. If we hadn't been screwed around badly by AFIP who never credited our tax payment wire transfers to our account (and we now have proof from the bank that they were credited the day after they were sent), we would have closed in August before all this mess started erupting.

If the buyers have money outside of Argentina, it is to their advantage to do a deal without first sending the money into arg. They would avoid fees etc. It is also to your benefit as far less hassle. Just make sure to set things up in a safe way (maybe escrow, or simultaneous transfer/escritura).

Good Luck And keep us posted as to what you ended up doing.

Cheers!
 

mmoon

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By all means (even a lower sales price, although it will benefit and be easier for both parties), complete the transaction without involving Argentine accounts!
 

pjniki

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Hi all
I thought I would offer an update on our real estate transaction. Everything worked out in the end, but since it's Argentina, not necessarily the way we were hoping to do it originally. We completed the transaction in cash and secured all but $20k, which we brought home with us, in Argentinean fashion, "under a mattress in an undisclosed location". There was simply no way to open a bank account and, given that we closed on, suitably, Hallowe'en, were disinclined to send anything electronically anyway.My partner couldn't get his DNI changed to an Argentinean address. Why, because he doesn't have an Argentinean credit card, so he can't pay the fee. The buyer ended up not having enough or not wanting to send money electronically from the States, so we were paid the full price in cash. Brand new USD $100 bills straight from the mint in Atlanta. Still in its shrink wrap and with a bar code.

The whole thing was both anticlimactic and surreal. The buyer sitting with bricks of cash USD for us and an even larger stack of pesos worth much less to the Escribano. Everyone was very blase about the whole thing. We walked out of the real estate office, grabbed a cab and went back to our apartment and then subsequently to the hiding place. On our last day, because we had to check out in the morning, but our flight wasn't till 10:30 at night, we spent the day being tourists in San Telmo and Centro with each of us having a compact little stash of $10,000 in the bottom of our well-held-onto, front-facing backpacks.

The money will trickle home over the next year.
 
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