Here is some info you can use to make your own decisions.
Banks and Banking in Belize
Belize has five commercial banks, not including offshore banks. Three are based in Belize – Alliance Bank, Belize Bank and Atlantic Bank — and two, First Caribbean Bank (formerly Barclays) and ScotiaBank, are large multinational banks with branches in Belize. The local banks are small, about the size of a small-town local bank or savings and loan in the U.S. Belize also has several credit unions and small mortgage lending institutions.
Here are the basic facts, including contact information for the main offices, about each bank in Belize:
Atlantic Bank was founded in 1971. It is majority owned by Sociedad Nacional de Inversiones, S.A., a Honduran company, along with some individual stockholders in Belize and Honduras. Atlantic Bank has 13 offices in Belize — in Corozal, the Corozal Free Zone, Belize City (three offices), International Airport, Belmopan, Ladyville, Caye Caulker, Orange Walk, San Pedro, Placencia and San Ignacio. Main office: Atlantic Building, Freetown Road; tel. 501-223-4123, fax 223-3907; www.atlabank.com.
Atlantic Bank’s international banking operation is Atlantic International Bank.
Belize Bank traces its history back to 1902 when it was founded as the Bank of British Honduras. It is owned by BB Holdings, shares of which trade on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange in the United Kingdom under the symbol BBHL. Lord Michael Ashcroft, a British billionaire and Conservative party officer who holds dual citizenship in the UK and Belize, is chairman and a large stockholder in BB Holdings. Belize Bank bills itself as the largest commercial bank in Belize, with assets if around US$440 million, and around 40% share of loans and deposits in Belize. It has 12 offices around the country — in Corozal, the Corozal Free Zone, Orange Walk, International Airport, Belize City (two offices), Belmopan, San Ignacio, San Pedro, Dangriga and Punta Gorda. Main office: 60 Market Square, Belize City; tel. 501-227-7132, fax 227-2712; www.belizebank.com.
Belize Bank also has an international banking division, Belize Caribbean International Bank.
First Caribbean International Bank (formerly Barclays) was formed in 2003 by the merger of the Caribbean operations of Barclays, the giant U.K-based financial service firm, and those of another large bank, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Operations in 17 Caribbean countries including Belize were rebranded as First Caribbean International Bank. First Caribbean has assets of around US$11 billion. In Belize, First Caribbean has five offices, in Belmopan, Belize City (two), San Pedro and Dangriga. Main office in Belize: Albert Street, Belize City; tel. 501-227-7211, fax 227-8572; www.firstcaribbean.com.
Heritage Bank (formerly Alliance Bank) is the newest of the commercial banks in Belize. It has eight offices -- in Belize City, Belmopan, Caye Caulker, San Pedro, Orange Walk, San Ignacio, Independence and Pomona (near Dangriga). It formerly was associated with Glenn D. Godfrey, a well-connected Belizean businessman and attorney. In 2009, Alliance Bank reportedly was sold to a group of mostly foreign investors from Mexico and the Caribbean. Main Office: 106 Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City; tel.: 501-223-6783, fax 223-6785. www.heritageibt.com
ScotiaBank, formerly Bank of Nova Scotia, is a large Canadian bank with operations in 50 countries and with worldwide assets of more than US$500 billion. In Belize, it has 13 offices -- in Corozal Town, San Pedro, Orange Walk, Belize City (two offices), Belmopan, Spanish Lookout, Placencia, Punta Gorda and Dangriga. Main Belize office: Albert Street, Belize City, tel. 501-227-7027, fax 227-7416; www.scotiabank.com.