Peru - Country Commercial Guide
Trade Financing

It covers payment methods and information on, banking systems, foreign exchange controls, and U.S. and correspondent banking.

Last published date: 2021-10-08

Methods of Payment

Before the 1990s, Peru suffered from chronic balance of payments, fiscal deficits, and low foreign reserves. For the past three decades, Peru has exercised prudent management of fiscal, monetary, and exchange policies. The Net International Reserves as of July 2021, as reported by the Central Reserve Bank (BCR), totaled $74.4 billion and remain stable at 35% of GDP. Most banks’ funding comes from domestic deposits and the local branches of foreign banks remain strong. Private pension funds control large and growing assets. The financial system enjoys a low delinquency ratio. In this context, the current account deficit diminished rapidly, from 4.8% of GDP in 2015 to 1.6% in 2018. This external deficit has been financed mainly with long-term capital inflows. Peru’s government debt as a percentage of GDP was 34.7% in 2020. Its budget deficit was 8.9% of GDP.

Foreign Exchange Controls

There are no reported difficulties in obtaining foreign exchange.

Banking System

Peru’s privatization strategy since the 1990s, coupled with competition, has led to banking sector consolidation. Sixteen commercial banks account for 90% of the financial system’s total assets, valued at $164 billion in December of 2020. 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). SBS policy generally follows regulatory guidelines set by the Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements (BIS). For example, regulators must audit bank financial statements in compliance with internationally accepted auditing standards. For further information, please see the Money and Banking System Section.

U.S. Banks and Local Correspondent Banks and Multilateral Development Banks

The Commercial Service maintains Commercial Liaison Offices in each of the main Multilateral Development Banks, including the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank. These institutions lend billions of dollars in developing countries on projects aimed at accelerating economic growth and social development by reducing poverty and inequality, improving health and education, and advancing infrastructure development. The Commercial Liaison Offices help American businesses learn how to get involved in bank-funded projects, and advocate on behalf of American bidders. Learn more by contacting the:

Peru works closely with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The IDB’s aim is to support Peru in achieving sustained growth to promote social progress, in a context of environmental sustainability. Three areas are prioritized: (1) productivity, with an emphasis on the labor market, business climate, business development, and infrastructure; (2) institutional strengthening and provision of basic services, with an emphasis on public management, health, and citizen security; and (3) environmental sustainability and climate change, with an emphasis on water resources, environmental management, and agribusiness.