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Following the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, the Cuban banking sector came under the control of the new regime. The new authorities famously appointed Che Guevara as President of the National Bank of Cuba or Banco Nacional de Cuba in 1959.

The National Banking System, headed by the Banco Central de Cuba or Central Bank of Cuba with authority over national and foreign banks. The Banco Central de Cuba (www.bc.gob.cu) will provide exchange rates.

Money can be changed at the National Bank of Cuba or Banco Nacional de Cuba. It is state run and the country's main commercial bank. Branch offices can be found throughout the country. It is open weekdays from around 8:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. The main branch in Havana is at Cuba 402, corner of Lamparilla, Tel: (7)-62-5361.  The state-run Banco Financiero Internacional, which has eight branches throughout Havana and in other major cities offers a full-range of services. This is probably the best bank to deal with since it has ample experience in dealing with foreign currency transactions. The main branch is located in the Hotel Havana Libre and its hours are from 8 A.M. to 3 P.M. Monday through Friday.

The state-run Banco Metropolitano, Banco Interncional de Comerico and Banco de Crédito y Comercio also offer services for foreigners including changing money. If you desire information about what credit cards are accepted in Cuba go to the Centro de Tarjetas de Crédito at 23rd Street by the Havana Libre Hotel, Vedado Tel: 33-4444 Fax: 33-4001

 To avoid delays and long waits it is faster to change money at tourist hotels. In 1995 the government let Cubans open interest-bearing savings accounts and certificates of deposits. Loans are now available for the self-employed.  In addition, Cuban banks now offer travelers checks, money transfers, checking accounts and other services to Cuban and foreign businesses, Cuban citizens, joint ventures and foreign residents.

Cash may be obtained from ATMS all around Havana provided you have a non-American bankcard. Be warned they can come with large conversion fees attached. You can also go into the banks themselves and withdraw cash from your ATM card directly through a teller for only a fee.

Currently, only non-U.S. credit cards are accepted. However, Pompano Beach-based Stonegate Bank said it will let U.S. travelers charge purchases at state-run businesses and a handful of private ones, mostly high-end private restaurants equipped with point-of-sale devices. Until now, Americans have generally had to bring cash to Cuba and change it either at state institutions that impose a 13 percent penalty on the dollar or in informal exchanges with locals.

Opening a bank account for foreigners from other countries can be complicated in Cuba. We advise you to check with one of the banks listed below for their requirements.

Foreign Banks 

Presently there are a few foreign banks that may operate representative offices in Cuba. They mainly cater to foreign businesses.

Scotiabank is proud to maintain a presence in Cuba, offering a broad range of correspondent banking services.

Miramar Trade Centre, Habana Building, Office 105 , 3rd. Ave. between 78 and 80 , Miramar, Playa , La Habana, Cuba

T 537.214.4885/86 - F 537.214.4887 - M 535.279.9442

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Information herein is authorized through the courtesy of Christopher Howard, author of the best selling Cuba information source, Living and Investing in the New Cuba. Please be aware that all information herein is protected by COPYRIGHT © and misuse of it will carry a penalty by law.