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#356857 - 11/04/09 02:14 AM Banking in Belize
WildThing Offline
Hello Again,

I was wondering if anyone could shed some light on banking in Belize. We are UK citizens who currently bank in the UK, but are paid in US$ as we run an internet business in the US and Canada. We have been traveling in North America for the past 5 months and using ATMs to access our UK account. Obviously we are paying fees all the time for the transaction handling!

We are planning on coming to Belize in December and intend to stay for a while (with a view to considering permanent residency)......and would like some advice/guidance on banking in Belize. i.e.
Regulations for opening an account as a non-resident (initially)
Which bank is recommended?
Location/availability of ATMs etc
Is it safe to bank through a Belize bank - given the unstable banking economy

Just any general experiences, advice etc would be much appreciated.
Thank you
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world shall know peace."

#356859 - 11/04/09 02:24 AM Re: Banking in Belize [Re: WildThing]
MisterB266 Offline
During my first week in Belize, I opened an account as a tourist. Easy. Be prepared with passports, any other ID, and Letters of Reference from your current bank(s). Some Belizean banks require 2 letters of reference; my bank requested only one. That was the only reason I chose that bank over 2 others.

There are also credit unions, and I know one tourist who opened an account with no letter of reference.

#356861 - 11/04/09 02:37 AM Re: Banking in Belize [Re: MisterB266]
SimonB Offline
Don't dump all your US dollars into your account (even a US$ account). You'll have a real fun time trying to get them out of the country if you decide to leave. Bring them in as you need them.

#356868 - 11/04/09 04:07 AM Re: Banking in Belize [Re: SimonB]
WildThing Offline
Thanks for this!

MisterB266 - which bank did you choose? You can PM me if you do not wan to post here. It would just be useful to be able to start checking this out.

We are looking initially to locate somewhere around the San Pedro area - is availability of ATMs pretty good around here?
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world shall know peace."

#356924 - 11/04/09 05:03 PM Re: Banking in Belize [Re: WildThing]
MisterB266 Offline
Here's a link to a site with a list of banks in Belize:

I chose the one that was best for me.

I don't know how many branches each bank has, but Belize Bank, ScotiaBank (no longer known as Bank of Nova Scotia) and Atlantic Bank seem to have branches in most towns and on the cayes. And ScotiaBank has branches in Chetumal & some other Caribbean countries.

ScotiaBank has a website:

#357016 - 11/05/09 06:21 PM Re: Banking in Belize [Re: MisterB266]
Nick Barton Offline
We are UK based, currently, but with a house on A.C. We have had an B$ account with Atlantic Bank for 6-7 years (plus a credit card)and it works fine. We can now access our accounts on line for moving cash around between savings and current accounts which is helpful.

As Simon suggests, we move money into these accounts from overseas when we need them so our exposure is not too great at any one time - just in case!

#359053 - 11/25/09 07:57 PM Re: Banking in Belize [Re: WildThing]
ScottPH Offline
You shouldn't have too much trouble finding an ATM in San Pedro, though most of the rest of the country is a different story. And it's not uncommon for machines to be down or out of money, something to keep in mind before counting on them as your primary source of funds.
If you'd like more info, check out our Belize articles at http://www.paradisehunter.com


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