Honduras - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

Discusses the most common methods of payment, such as open account, letter of credit, cash in advance, documentary collections, factoring, etc. Includes credit-rating and collection agencies in this country. Includes primary credit or charge cards used in this country. Also includes information on Foreign Exchange controls and Banking Systems, and U.S. Banks & Local Correspondent Banks. 

Last published date: 2020-10-12

Methods of Payment

There are various alternatives involving credit, insurance, and trade finance tools to help U.S. companies against non-payment risks when trying to expand their export sales. Factors to consider for the analysis of payment should include the type of business, nature of the relationship with the buyer, economic, and political conditions of the country of export. Among the payment methods commonly used for international trade transactions are open accounts, commercial letters of credit, cash against documents, factoring, documentary collections and cash in advance. Factoring, cash in advance and irrevocable payment undertakings, such as letters of credit confirmed by U.S. banks, are the most frequently used methods of payment for U.S. exporters selling to Honduran firms (particularly in transactions of significant value). Open Accounts are often used with recurring sales to established buyers with good track records of timely payments. When appropriate, a third party, such as the Export-Import Bank of the United States, should insure open account transactions. It is highly discouraged to send shipments without agreeing to payment terms in advance and receiving proper bank documents.

Banking Systems

The Honduran banking system, currently comprised of seven financial groups and 15 private banks authorized by the National Banking and Insurance Commission (CNBS), includes financial intermediaries, one securities exchange, brokerages, credit operators, and foreign exchange houses. In recent years, it has experienced significant growth, consolidation, and regional expansion.

Total assets in the Honduran financial system in 2019 were $24,606 billion. Banks account for 95 percent of total assets in the financial system. The minimal capital requirement to operate a bank is 600 million L/ $24.5 million per CNBS Circular 034/2016. Average interest rates for local currency in the banking system were 13.3 percent for 2019.  Average interest rates in U.S. dollars were 6.7 percent in 2019.  The Honduran banking system maintains 50.2 percent of its deposits in U.S. banks and financial institutions.

Bank operations are governed by a Central Bank reform law revised in 2004. The law also provides for stronger capitalization of the Central Bank by the central government. The Banking Commission reform law and the Deposit Insurance Fund (FOSEDE in Spanish) reform law transfer the responsibility for the restitution of troubled banks from FOSEDE to the Banking Commission. The Financial System law (Decree No. 129-2004) delineates the responsibilities of the Banking Commission and the Central Bank to supervise and regulate the country’s financial sector. The overriding objective of the law is to bring the Honduran financial sector regulation into compliance with the internationally recognized Basel core principles for effective banking supervision. The law also strengthens the previously ineffective national credit bureau and imposes new restrictions on bank ownership and management. In 2016 through Decree No. 160-2016, Congress updated the Financial Law  adjusting its legal framework to international best practices. Also in 2016 the regulations for the Money Laundering Law were approved.

There are few legal barriers to entry in the banking sector, but the small size of the market has meant that most foreign investment has been in regional, rather than Honduran-only, banks. Several banks have majority foreign ownership including Banco Citibank de Honduras, S.A., Davivienda Bank S.A., BAC/Honduras, LAFISE, Azteca, Promerica, ProCredit, and BanPais. In April 2015 FICOHSA Bank acquired 100 percent of Citibank’s credit card portfolio, and with this transaction FICOHSA became the biggest holder of the credit card market in Honduras.

Foreign Exchange Controls

Honduras uses a crawling peg exchange rate that allows the Lempira to fluctuate by seven percent against the U.S. dollar in either direction (Resolution No. 284-7/2011). The peg is subject to the further restriction that any daily price be no greater than 100.075 percent of the average for the prior seven daily auctions. This secondary restriction limits devaluation to a maximum of approximately 4.8 percent annually (assuming the maximum devaluation daily). The Central Bank uses an auction system to regulate the allocation of foreign exchange. Commercial banks are required to sell 50 percent of repatriated foreign exchange earnings to the Central Bank each night.

US Banks & Local Correspondent Banks

Banco Atlantida, S.A.
Guillermo Bueso Anduray, Executive President
P.O. Box 3164
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2231-1878, 2232-4047; Fax: (504) 2231-1974
E-mail: info@bancatlan.hn

Banco Davivienda Honduras, S.A.
Gustavo Raudales, Executive President
P.O. Box 344 and 3185
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2240-0909; 800-2222-2020; Fax: (504) 2240-4873

Banco Financiera Comercial Hondureña, S.A. (FICOHSA)
Javier Atala, Executive President
Abel Garcia,  General Manager
P.O. Box 3858
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2239-6410; Fax: (504) 2239-8785

Banco de Occidente, S.A.
Jorge Bueso Arias, President
Manuel Venancio Bueso Gerente General
P.O. Box 3284
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2290-4100; Fax: (504) 2237-0486

Banco de Honduras, S.A.
Lic. Reyna Irene Mejia, Chief Country Officer (CCO Honduras)
P.O. Box 3434
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2290-0100; Fax: (504) 2290-0123;

Banco del País, S.A.
Maria del Rosario Selman, Executive President
P.O. Box 1075
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2240-1212; 2566-2020; Fax: (504) 2239-5707; 2566-2142

Banco Financiera Centroamericana, S.A. (FICENSA)
Gloria de López, President
Roque Rivera Ribas, Executive President
P.O. Box 1432
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2221-3870; Fax: (504) 2221-3849

Banco Hondureño del Café (BANHCAFE)
Ing. Cesar Arturo Zavala, General Manager
P.O. Box 583
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2239-8370; Fax: (504) 2239-7782 

Banco de los Trabajadores, S.A.
Rene Rodriguez, General Manager
P.O. Box 3246
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2238-0017, 2238-0140; Fax: (504) 2238-0077; 2222-1634

Banco LAFISE Honduras
Roberto Zamora, Executive President
Lizzeth Villatoro, General Manager
P.O. Box 3325
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504)  2237-4000/20Fax: (504) 2237-1835

BAC/Honduras
Jacobo Atala, Executive President
René Simón, Vice-President
P.O. Box 536
Tegucigalpa M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2239-4301; Fax: (504) 2238-7200

Banco Promérica
Arturo Arana, President
Lic. Carlos Canizales, Gerente  Manager
Colonia Palmira, Ave. Rep. De Chile # 804
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2238-4285, 2280-8080; Fax: (504) 2216-4644

Banrural
Sr. Bernardo Jesús López Figueroa, Presidente
Lic. Natanael Euceda,  General Manager
Col. Florencia, Blvd Suyapa 3730, Edif. Banrural
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2290-1010; Fax: (504) 2239-5828

Banco Azteca
Daniel Osorto,  Gerente Manager
Oficina Principal, Col. Miramontes, Calle La Salud
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2264-1460; Fax: (504) 2264-1460, ext. 51181

Banco Popular  
German Contreras, President
Diego Moncayo, General Manager
Edif. Fundación Covelo, Col. Castaño Sur
Tegucigalpa, M.D.C., Honduras
Tel: (504) 2221-5150; 2221-5177; Fax: (504) 2221-5202