Peru - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing
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Methods of Payment

Peruvian importers mostly use irrevocable letters of credit issued by a Peruvian commercial bank.  This type of payment is common in several industries.  Large Peruvian banks have divisions that advise their clients about international payments and collections. 

Banking System

In Peru’s highly consolidated banking sector, sixteen commercial banks account for 90% of the financial system’s total assets, valued at $172 billion in December 2021.  Three banks accounted for 72% of loans and 69% of deposits among commercial banks.  However, Peru has a relatively low level of access to financial services (50% nationwide), with access significantly lower outside Lima and other major urban areas.

Peru’s financial system has four government-owned entities, The Central Bank (Banco Central de Reserve del Peru, or BCRP), the government’s financial agent (Banco de la Nacion), the Development Bank (Corporación Financiera de Desarrollo, or COFIDE), and the Agrarian Bank.  These institutions, along with four private pension fund administrators, 20 insurance companies, and 20 miscellaneous companies, are regulated by the Superintendence of Banks, Insurance, and Pension Funds Administrators (Superintendencia de Banca, Seguros y AFP, SBS).  In addition, SBS policy generally follows regulatory guidelines set by the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS).

The BCRP is an independent institution, free to manage monetary policy to maintain financial stability.  The BCRP’s primary goal is to maintain price stability via inflation, targeting between one to three percent.  Year-end inflation rose to 4.0% in 2021, up from 1.8% in 2020.  Inflation continued in 2022, with Peru’s 12-month rate through May reaching 8.8%.  President Castillo reappointed the BCRP’s well-respected President Julio Velarde for a fourth consecutive five-year term in October 2021.  Analysts consider the banking system to be generally sound, thanks partly to lessons learned during the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis. 

Foreign Exchange Controls

There are no reported difficulties in obtaining foreign exchange. 

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks

Under the PTPA, U.S. financial service firms have full rights to establish subsidiaries or branches for banks and insurance companies.  While foreign banks are allowed to establish banks in the country freely, they are subject to the supervision of Peru’s Superintendent of Banks and Securities (SBS).  Citibank is the only major U.S. bank operating in Peru.

For more information about the methods of payment or other trade finance options, please read the Trade Finance Guide.

To access Peru’s  ICS section on financing, visit the U.S. Department of State Investment Climate Statement website.