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#469923 - 08/10/13 10:37 AM $20 Million for National Bank
Marty Offline

Hon. Dean Barrow

On Wednesday the House of Representatives approved an injection of $20 million into the state owned National Bank of Belize Limited. The Government of Belize established the National Bank in April of this year. It will operate under the motto “Of the People for the People” and will provide loans at concessionary rates to public officers and low income Belizean families. According to Prime Minister Barrow, “The mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower and middle income Belizeans and in particular public servants and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market.” The bank is estimated to start lending at an average of 6.5% on the reducing balance of loans.

The $20 million approved by the House is only startup capital as the authorized share capital of the institution is $100 million. The Bank will eventually be divided into 1 million shares at $100 per share. The immediate goal of the institution is to expand the home-owning community by focusing primarily on mortgage loans. The Bank will also accept deposits and eventually expand its loan portfolio to finance small businesses and other developmental causes. Government’s $20 million is a subscription to 200,000 shares in the company.

The National Bank is Government’s most recent initiative to encourage other lending institutions to lower lending rates. Previous initiatives were more friendly towards those institutions such as the increase in Treasury Bills to provide local banks with an opportunity to invest its excess capital and make a profit. Those gains were not relayed to the consumers and lending rates dipped only slightly despite a worldwide recession. Now the local banks are forced to play ball if they are to compete with the state owned bank.

The Guardian


Senator Godwin Hulse says National Bank of Belize is a “good thing”

You probably haven’t heard much about the Capitalization of the National Bank of Belize. It is one of the motions that was passed in the House of Representatives last week and subsequently passed in the Senate yesterday. The project, says GOB will provide an affordable credit system to public officers, teachers and other needy Belizeans. But how would this happen? The Government with $20 million dollars intends to purchase 200,000 shares in the National Bank of Belize.  And although the bill was passed, it wasn’t an undemanding one, as there were some concerns from members of Senate, while others favored it. Following the reading of the bill, member from the Business Community Mark Lizarraga was first to speak on the bill.

Mark Lizarraga -  Senator, Private Sector:

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-11h37m31s28Mr President, in principle we totally agree with the affordable financing for housing for public officials and officers.  We agree to affordable financing for needy Belizeans.  All we ask, Mr President, is that policies for loan disbursements be made very clear and public.  We ask that the legal process be followed as well as banking principles.  Banking principles  of equity participation and collateral are key, we believe.  We ask this, Mr President, so that the people’s 20 million dollars in equity in this bank can be protected, as is our obligation, and also so that this program can continue to grow and be around at least for the next hundred years, providing more public service personnel and the needy in our country with low-cost financing, especially for such a basic necessity as affordable housing. 

Mr President, there is ample history of failure and clemency in public banking. My plea to the Directors then is please do not let us burden the Belizean people with more write-offs, loan ruthlessness, and political handouts. I remind the Directors of this bank that, until we see differently, we believe this bank is intended to be sustainable.

Senator the Hon. Lisa Shoman then verbalized her uneasiness with the proposed endeavor.

Lisa Shoman – Senator, PUP:

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-11h57m52s213When I look at the acronym of this bank, NBBL, it strikes me that it could be very unfortunate, especially if we start thinking that this is the ‘nibble’ bank of Belize and it’s meant for certain people with privileged political connections to start nibbling away at its assets and benefitting in such a way that instead of NBBL, people might start calling it the piñata bank of Belize. Piñata, Mr President when you lick the piñata and you wait for two or three sweets to drop out.  That’s the concern, Mr President, that those who are going to be Directors of this bank need not be reminded, but will be reminded, that they have a fiduciary responsibility to make sure that whatever monies or dispersed loans are made, concessionary credits are provided to public officers, teachers, and other needy Belizeans, it is done in a way that is open, transparent, fair, accountable, and non-partisan, so that it is need and not greed that becomes the governing criteria.  

The Hon. Joy Grant and Godwin Hulse subsequently defended the bill.

Joy Grant – Senator:

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-12h10m08s158The people of Belize have been overwhelming in their support for the National Bank of Belize.  I’m happy to say that, although this was something that was actively being considered, that the union made this the priority, and hense 50% of the funding will be going to public officers and teachers, and the remaining 50% to other Belizeans who meet the criteria.  I want to say in response to the Senator from the Business Community, that as the Honourable Prime Minister said, the Bank will operate using the strictest guidelines that exist today for banking.  The Bank will start with Mortgage Financing, but intends very shortly to become a full-service Bank. The funding is from Petrocaribe Funds, and this is the first tranche to the Bank, and we hope that because we do stellar work, that additional funds will become available.

Godwin Hulse – Leader of Government Business:

vlcsnap-2013-08-14-12h23m30s43I’m here to tell you that I have a lot of faith in this going forward, and it’s not going to be a  piñata bank, if you mean by that it’s going to be whooped and busted.  I hope not, ‘cause that’s not going to happen.  In fact representations have been made, in my presence, to the Honourable Prime Minister to ensure perhaps that persons in the Public Service, who are members of the union, that they would be considered in some sort of arrangement to ensure that members in the Public Service who are not members of the union would not have advantages over those who are members of the union, after the unions had fought so hard. And I’m here to say to you that the Prime Minister said that is why we put you on the board, and this Cabinet has absolutely no interference in that. Public officers are public officers.  It does not matter who they are, they are public officers. Have I missed anything Honourable Minister? Is that not what he said, in the presence of all the union representatives, from the Teachers’’ Union, the PSU, the NTUCB, etcetera.  And I have never been known to misquote.  Therefore I had even enhanced confidence that this is a good thing. This is a good thing. What it will do is make affordable credit to the people of Belize. The commercial banks have been cajoled, they have been leaned on, they have been coaxed, they have been enticed, they have been waltzed, they have been samba and salsa…please man bring down your rates. You have liquidity. The banks are giving you point something percent or one point something percent but hammering you with twelve and thirteen and fifteen percent still. The spread is too big. You can’t do business with that. I’m a businessman all my life, and I know the high interest rate lick you up!

PlusTV


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#470661 - 08/21/13 10:37 AM Re: $20 Million for National Bank [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

National Bank of Belize due to open in September

The National Bank of Belize is one of the latest major projects being undertaken by the Government of Belize. The bank will seek to provide an affordable credit system to lower and middle income Belizeans and particularly public officers, teachers and other needy Belizeans. The Bank will have a startup capital of BZE $20 million dollars. This will afford  the Government 200,000 shares. The Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow made the big announcement in April of this year.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow:

vlcsnap-2013-08-20-09h14m25s80The Board of Directors has now decided that the motto of the Bank is ‘Of The People, For The People.’  Of course the mission of the Bank is principally to make residential and other consumer loans available to lower to middle income Belizeans, and in particular Public Servants and Teachers, at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time.  The truth is that  the whole idea is to put pressure, downward pressure, on the lending rates of the commercial banks.   

 

vlcsnap-2013-08-20-09h12m34s245The official opening ceremony of the Bank is slated for early September of this year. Its headquarters will be located right here in Belmopan, at the Corner of Forest Drive and the Hummingbird Highway. The bank will be chaired by  Senator Joy Grant, Minister of Energy, and staffed by capable technocrats and banking authorities. Meanwhile, Managing Director will be Jose Marin – who is well known in the banking industry as well as in community development.

PlusTV


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#471721 - 09/03/13 10:54 AM Re: $20 Million for National Bank [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

National Bank Launched; PM Says Not a “Political Pork Barrel”

The National Bank of Belize opened its doors in Belmopan today. Offering low cost credit to teachers, public servants and regular Belizeans, it is a major initiative for the Barrow Administration in its second term. And like a long distance runner who just got a second wind, the Prime Minister today seemed emboldened by having finally crystallized and brought into being an idea long imagined: a people’s bank. We were at the opening and found out more:..

Hon. Dean Barrow - Prime Minister of Belize
"The launch of the National Bank of Belize is an accomplishment for the ages."

The ribbon was cut this morning, the plaque unveiled and The National Bank of Belize on Forest Drive in Belmopan opened for business this afternoon. It is as the Chairman said, a different kind of bank:


Hon. A. Joy Grant - Chairman, National Bank of Belize
"A bank whose focus is on serving the financial interest of all Belizeans, whosegoal is not about maximizing profit - but about providing the working class Belizean with the financial assistance and knowledge they require to improve their living standards throught the construction."

The bank has a startup capitalization of 20 million dollars:

Hon. Dean Barrow
"Ladies and gentlemen, the bank is starting with 20 million dollars in capital - all of which is contributed by the government of Belize. I have made no secret of the fact that we have sourced that equity from the Petro Caribe Loan Funds."

Half of that 20 is earmarked for lending to teachers and public officers:

Hon. A. Joy Grant
"Initially, the National Bank of Belize will provide mortgage financing for construction to first time owners with 50% of their original equity financing for public servants and teachers and for the remainder for the general public."

Hon. Dean Barrow
"Loans will be for a maximum of $100,000 and this is for first time home owners so that there will be no refinancing of existing loans held with other institutions."

And while that is the practical purpose that the bank will serve, it is also an instrument of monetary policy, as a driver of lower interest rates in the banking sector:

Hon. Dean Barrow
"I have long complained that in an international environment of all time low lending rates, the inability of our commercial banks to seriously bring down the cost of money to consumers, is a scandal - it is unacceptable that to spread within bank deposit rates and bank lending rates - keeps winding in favor of the banks. In this regard, this government refuses a minute more to be the dog that only barks."

The bite is a very low lending rate:

Hon. Dean Barrow
"Of course, those that we will be servicing - our lending rates will be unbeatable because our bottom line is people and not profit. That is why our introductory offer to the people of Belize is an unbelievably low 5.5%."

`And while that should shock the system, in socialized banking built of public not depositor funds, there are inevitable pitfalls which if the bank is to live up to the historical hype, must be avoided:

Hon. Dean Barrow
"The National Bank cannot be a grab tub or the political pork barrel into which, for example, the previous administration the turned the DFC. So the people for whom all this is to be done, must do their part - when you borrow, you have to repay."

Jules Vasquez
"Will the highest standards of prudential management be observed in running this bank as it would be for any commercial banks?"

Hon. Dean Barrow
"We will be just like any other commercial bank. I'm glad you asked the question because while it's not going to be an issue, we simply won't tolerate it, it's as well to signal right from the start to people. If we are to make a success out of this and we are going to, we really have to treat with it at the highest of professional standards. With the president of the NTUCB, so there would be a readymade whistle blower if ever things were to go array but it won't go array as long as I am at the helm and as long as Ms. Grant is Chair of that board."

And while they hope to keep tight controls, Government also expects to shortly infuse the bank with more funds to lend:

Hon. Dean Barrow
"I suspect that the demand will be over the top and let me signal from now that I expect to come back to the National Assembly before Christmas with another motion to put some additional equity into the National Bank because I feel that the 20 million will not be able to take care of even the intial demand."

The plan is ultimately to take the National Bank to the next level and turn it into a full service, deposit taking, credit card offering institution as soon as we can."

The Managing Director of the Bank is Jose Marin, a career banker and the former president of Provident Bank, Belize. Board members include Deputy Financial Secretary Marion Palacio, president of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize Dylan Reneau, and John Mencias — GOB’s point-man for the Venezuelan Petrocaribe Initiative.

Channel 7


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#471734 - 09/03/13 11:24 AM Re: $20 Million for National Bank [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

The National Bank of Belize opens its doors; initial interest rate is at 5.5%

The National Bank of Belize Limited was established in April 2013, and today its doors were opened to the general public in Belmopan. The state-owned bank will primarily provide concessionary credit to public officers, teachers and lower-middle income Belizeans. Suitable to the occasion, the launch was a red-carpet type affair of government leaders, public officers, dignitaries, diplomats, executives and general supporters of the initiative. There were balloons, a band and plenty of back-patting to greet the birth of the G.O.B.’s new bouncing baby bank. Mike Rudon was in Belmopan and has the story.

Mike Rudon, Reporting

There was plenty of high-level support to greet the opening of the National Bank of Belize today. It’s an initiative which has been in the works for some time now…and while it’s far too early to offer comment on the bank in practice…the government has nothing but praise for the idea behind the NBBL.

Joy Grant, Chair, NBBL

Joy Grant

“Initially, the National Bank of Belize will provide mortgage financing for construction to first time home owners with fifty percent of their regional equity financing for public officers and teachers, and the remainder for the general public. In a few months our range of banking offerings will expand to include other financial products and services.”

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“What is happening here this morning is part of a grand design of a far larger scheme of things. I have long complained that in an international environment of all time low lending rates, the inability of our commercial banks to seriously bring down the cost of money to consumers is a scandal.”

And that scandal resulted in the birth of the National Bank.

Dean Barrow

“All I and Cabinet know that it is a situation that we could not any longer countenance. It is unacceptable that the spread between bank deposit rates and bank lending rates keeps widening in favor of the banks. And in this regard, the government refuses a minute more to be the dog that only barks. And so, enter the National Bank.”

And the National Bank is entering the scene in a big way. There will be no refinancing of mortgages from other financial institutions because the bank is focusing on first time home-owners. And loans will be for a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars. But that doesn’t take away from the good news which the Prime Minister was more than happy to offer.

Dean Barrow

“For those that we will be servicing, our lending rates will be unbeatable because our bottom line is people and not profit. That is why our introductory offer to the people of Belize is an unbelievably low five point five percent.”

Amid the euphoria of being the harbinger of good news for Belizeans, there was still room for reality – reality which can spell disaster for the brand new bank.

Dean Barrow

“The people for whom all this is to be done must do their part. When you borrow, you have to repay. And if we run into trouble because of delinquency even at this first stage, we will never reach level two. I have every confidence, though, that especially our teachers and public officers know exactly how high the stakes are, and will partner responsibly and successfully with government to make our national bank the pride of Belize and the envy of the Caribbean.”

Just about the only criticism of the bank so far has been caused by cynicism, bad experiences in the past and a general distrust of politicians. So will the National Bank turn into a political pork barrel…a national grab tub?

Dean Barrow

“The Managing Director, the Board of Directors and the staff all know that that is absolutely a no no and it simply won’t be countenanced. There’s just no chance. It can’t happen and it won’t happen. While it’s not going to be an issue because we simply won’t tolerate it…it’s as well to signal right from the start to people – if we are to make a success of this thing and we are going to make a success of it we really have to as you say treat with it on the basis of the highest professional standards.”

According to the Prime Minister, he expects that the initial demand will outstrip the twenty million dollars which has been used to capitalize the bank. He anticipates a trip to the House to allocate more monies to the bank by Christmas. Mike Rudon for News Five.

The Managing Director of the National Bank of Belize is Jose Marin. Doors opened for business this afternoon.

Channel 5


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#471803 - 09/04/13 10:12 AM Re: $20 Million for National Bank [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

RIBBON CUTTING FOR NATIONAL BANK OF BELIZE

The National Bank of Belize was established this April with the House of Representativves approving a motion for the Minister of Finance to execute the necessary documents to channel $20million BZD into the new financial institution, which Government asserts is intended to provide concessionary credit to public officers, teachers and other needy Belizeans. As announced in yesterdays launching, the maximum loan to be given will currently be $100,000.00 BZD per loan applicant.

The $20 million will purchase for the Government of Belize 200,000 shares in the National Bank of Belize.

A statement sheet provided to the media at a press conference held by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Minister of Finance, earlier this year, indicated that the start-up capital for the bank would come from funds on-lent from the Petro-Caribe funds.


These are funds which the Government earmarks for special use, as a credit provided by Venezuela. Whenever Belize receives shipments of fuel and fuel products from that country, the monies due to Venezuela are set aside in a fund for special programs here; and the Government can repay Venezuela under a long-term payment scheme at a minimal interest rate.

The Government has indicated that apart from the initial $20 million injection of funds, “the plan is to seek out further funding sources including through our evolving partnership with Venezuela, and from local sources, and to recycle for further lending.”

The bank has an authorized share capital of $100 million, divided into 1 million shares at $100 each.

The launching and ribbon cutting by Prime Minster of Belize Honourable Dean Barrow and Chair of the new bank NBBL Joy Grant took place at a special ceremony in Belmopan yesterday June 2nd attended by government leaders, diplomats dignitaries, and special invited guests.

In her address Chair Joy Grant stated: “Initially, the National Bank of Belize will provide mortgage financing for construction to first time home owners with fifty percent of their regional equity financing for public officers and teach hers, and the remainder for the generral public. In a few months our rang ge of banking offerings will expan nd to include other financial products aand services.”

Prime Minister Dean BBarrow: “What is happening here e this morning is part of a grand de esign of a far larger scheme of things. . I have long complained that in an international environment of all tim me low lending rates, the inabiility of our commercial banks to sseriously bring down the cost o of money to consumers is a scandal.”” Apparently from that scaandal resulted in the birth of the Natiional Bank. Dean Barrow: “All I and Cabinet kno ow that it is a situation that we co ould not any longer countenance. It is s unacceptable that the spread betweeen bank deposit rates and bank lending rates keeps widening in favor of the banks. And in this regard, the government refuses a minute more to be the dog that only barks. And so, enter the National Bank.”

And the National Bank is entering the scene in a big way. There will be no refinancing of mortgages from other financial institutions because the bank is focusing on first time home-owners. And loans will be for a maximum of $100,000.00 BZD. But that doesn’t take away from the good news which the Prime Minister was more than happy to offer.

Dean Barrow:

“For those that we will be servicing, our lending rates will be unbeatable because our bottom line is people and not profit. That is why our introductory offer to the people of Belize is an unbelievably low 5.5%.”

Amid the euphoria of being the harbinger of good news for Belizeans, there was still room for reality – reality which can spell disaster for the brand new bank.

Dean Barrow:

“The people for whom all this is to be done must do their part. When you borrow, you have to repay. And if we run into trouble because of delinquency even at this first stage, we will never reach level two. I have every confidence, though, that especially our teachers and public officers know exactly how high the stakes are, and will partner responsibly and successfully with government to make our national bank the pride of Belize and the envy of the Caribbean.”

Just about the only criticism of the bank so far has been caused by cynicism, bad experiences in the past and a general distrust of politicians. So will the National Bank turn into a political pork barrel…a national grab tub?

Dean Barrow:

“The Managing Directorr, the Board of Directors and the st taff all know that that is absolutely a a no..no and it simply won’t be co ountenanced. There’s just no chance. It can’t happen and it won’t happe en. While it’s not going to be an issue bbecause we simply won’t tolerate it… …it’s as well to signal right from the start to people – if we are to make a success of this thing and we are go oing to make a success of it we reallly have to as you say treat with it on thhe basis of the highest professional s standards.” According to the Prime Minister, he expects that the initial demand will outstrip the twenty millioon dollars which has been used to c capitalize the bank. He anticipates a tr rip to the House to allocate more mmonies to the bank by Christmas. The Managing Director of the National Bank of Belize is Jose Marin. Doors opened for business yesterday September 2nd, 2013 just in time for our Independence dayy celebrations.

Courtesy: : Corozal Daily (…Sometimes)


More details on the National Bank of Belize

The National Bank of Belize opened its doors to the public on Monday. We brought you the inauguration ceremony that was held at its first branch in the Capital City of Belmopan. Today though, we pander to some housekeeping, on the conception and policies tendered by the state-owned financing institution. In the consultation stage, the Board of Directors sought foreign advice from GBRW Consulting to assist with the construction of the business plan. The bank is starting with 20 million dollars in capital, that equity was sourced from the Petrocaribe Loan Funds at a financing charge of 1%. PlusNews has been informed that the Board is projecting a profit which will be directly reinvested into the operation by its third year. In fact, in the long term, the bank intends to encourage the public to use their residential investments as productive assets, for instance, converting rooftops into solar producing electricity stations. The commercial bank will give preference to public officers, teachers and low and middle income Belizeans, and in the beginning is operating solely with mortgage financing at a 5.5% interest rate. Loans will be granted at a maximum of one hundred thousand dollars and there will be no refinancing of existing loans held with other institutions. The Bank, which is licensed by the Central Bank, intends to eventually offer all inclusive banking services.

PLUSTV


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#472025 - 09/07/13 11:06 AM Re: $20 Million for National Bank [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

National Bank not bad for commercial banks, Senator Grant says

Untitled-1Studies show that state-owned financial institutions (SFIs) can strain private sector financial institutions, but the National Bank of Belize’s Chairman Senator Joy Grant says the Government has taken precise steps to minimize such risks.

Speaking as to whether or not the government has conducted any study to see how the banking sector will be affected, Grant explained that GOB has evaluated such concerns within as best of a time frame possible, considering the fact that the banking sector is largely volatile and circumstances can change relatively quickly.

“We have looked at that [the viability of competition between a national bank and private sector]…and we believe that at this time, because of the spread, that there’s an opportunity there for another bank to change that spread.”

According to the Central Bank’s recent Monthly Economic Report, the “spread” between weighted average interest rates on “New Loans and Deposits” averaged 7.10 percent as of May this year, with deposit rates averaging 2.99 percent and lending rates at approximately 10.09 percent.

The Central Bank showed that the interest rate on savings within that period 2.20 percent, while the standard lending rates for “new” residential construction averaged decreased to 8.38 percent.

The average interest rates for personal and commercial loans were 10.64 and 10.83, respectively.

The National Bank, Grant explained, will be competing with the commercial banks in an attempt to narrow the “spread”, and is, therefore, offering mortgages to “first-time” homeowners at 5.5 percent interest rates—more than 2.8 percent less than the private sector average for “new” loans.

Grant explained that it is that gulf between deposit and lending rates that provided the opportunity for the Barrow administration to introduce and launch the National Bank, in an attempt to bring the lending rates in Belize closer to the international average.

On Wednesday, an article in USA Today reported that the United States interest rates “on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to 4.73%, from a 2013 high of 4.80%.”

The high interest rates have largely been recognized as the primary reason there continues to be comparatively high liquidity in the banking sector.

The Central Bank reported: “Relatively weak growth in credit was a consistent factor in the accumulation of excess liquidity in the banking system during the review period…consequently, excess statutory holdings rose by 13.5% to $352 million. Holdings of excess cash also rose by 14% to $173.8 million.”

Rolling out of new services

Grant explained that the government intends to have the bank function as a full-fledged financial institution that accepts deposits, offers credit card services, and more; however, she assured Reporter that they will be measured in how they will expand the bank’s services beyond just mortgage lending.

“I and our board will also have to be looking at how first of all we roll out our services.

“If we feel that there is not enough space for a service to come on board, we won’t do it. We are going to be monitoring this on an ongoing basis.

“And also we will be in close contact with the Central Bank of Belize, because they will have essential information to share with the National Bank,” she said.

Are subsidized banks doomed to failure?

Speaking on the criticism that national banks are inclined to fail because of their traditionally heavy subsidized nature, Grant explained that she and her team have done extensive research within the region and are bench marking off of SFIs that have been successful, while observing the pitfalls of those that have failed.

“There are two things that adversely affect national banks: political interference and people’s perception that because it’s a national bank they will not have to adhere to strict financial conditions.

“That will not be the case here…it has to be ran professionally,” she said.

Grant added that she has made it clear that the bank has to make money. “This cannot be subsidized…I need to make enough to cover expenses.”

She explained that the only difference between the National Bank of Belize and the commercial banks is that because they do not need to maximize profits, they could ensure that more Belizeans gain access to credit.

Regarding political interference, she said that she is confident in the make-up of the bank’s board of directors and she is convinced that the addition of the president of the National Trade Union Congress of Belize will preclude the possibility of political interference.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow, speaking at the bank’s opening on Monday, described the NTUCB’s representative on the bank’s board of directors as a “ready-made whistleblower”.

International studies

While it is yet to be seen how the National Bank will perform, a May 2013 article from Oxford Analytica, entitled “Development banks face governance challenge globally”, concluded that the “provision of subsidized credit by DB [development banks] could distort competition.”

The article further states that while sustainability of SFIs are a concern because of other fiscal pressures on government that can strain such banks, coupled with the fact that national banks don’t have profit maximization as a primary goal, they can operate as well as national banking sector averages on returns on assets.

“Pressures to generate resources that sustain their activities mean that corporate governance reforms at DBs will continue. The focus will be on attracting high-quality management, increasing risk management capabilities, improving transparency and reporting, as well as adhering to supervision and regulation like private sector financial institutions.”

Oxford Analytica also addressed the high risk of politicization of the lending process.

It described “some degree of political interference” as being “inevitable.” With that fact in mind, it recommended several steps to mitigate the degree of interference.

Oxford Analytica said that governments should legally separate boards of directors and bank management.

It also stated governments should work on “increasing the number of independent directors; clearly defining the role of shareholders; ensuring compliance with policy objectives; improving monitoring of performance, supervising; and regulating DBs in the same way as other financial institutions.”

The Reporter


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#473539 - 09/28/13 10:53 AM Re: $20 Million for National Bank [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

National Bank attracts over 400 Applicants in first 5 days


National Bank of Belize

Chairman of the National Bank, Hon. Joy Grant told the Guardian that within the first 5 days of the opening of the bank, it saw over 400 persons come in to get application forms. "We know there is a lot of interest and enthusiasm is still very high, stated Hon. Grant. She explained that as persons come in to the bank, because it is a development bank, the focus is on education. That education involves explaining to applicants and advising them about the size of a loan that they are able to take on and working on tailoring their needs based on their incomes. "It is not a 'yes' or a 'no' but rather we explain how big a house they can build," stated Grant.

As people are coming in Hon. Grant explained that it is not only public servants and teachers who can access financing. She said that half of the money is indeed for them, but that the other half is for ordinary Belizeans who would want to build their homes.

Asked if the bank has the capacity to process the requests, Grant explained that yes it does. "The plan is to move in a measured manner but if there is a bottleneck we will get other people in to assist," she said. She added that at Christmas time the bank plans to take in interns to learn about mortgage financing in order to have more people be able to understand budgeting, saving and owning their own home and getting more financial expertise in their daily lives.

In his Independence Day address, Prime Minister, Hon. Dean Barrow stated that by the first quarter of next year the bank should be taking in deposits. To this, Hon. Grant explained that she will be bettering that expectation as by the end of the year deposits will begin to be accepted. Thereafter there will be an expansion of services such as ATM and other services as the bank grows.

So far the bank has already begun to disburse loans as the first approval for a loan took place on Friday September 20th.

The Guardian


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#479710 - 12/13/13 10:46 AM Re: $20 Million for National Bank [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline

National Bank of Belize to offer commercial banking services

With the walkouts out of the way, we turn to some of the important matters which came out in today’s House sitting. First…the National Bank of Belize. It opened its doors in September, and today Prime Minister Dean Barrow reported that two point six million dollars in mortgage financing has already been disbursed, with another four point one million in the pipeline. And there’s bigger news than that. The institution will soon be offering different banking services, including vehicle loans. NBBL will also be accepting its first corporate deposit very shortly, with others following suit, if all goes as planned.

Prime Minister Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“The bank is moving as quickly as possible to take its operations to the next level. You will recollect Mister Speaker that we had made clear that the intention is to turn this national bank into a full service commercial bank as quickly as possible. Well, within the next couple of weeks, the bank expects to receive its first commercial deposit. The Board of the Bank and the Chairman of Belize Telemedia Limited have agreed that B.T.L. will invest by a way of cash deposit for three years, a total of five million dollars. In order to try to step up our services to the public, the bank is going to increase the mortgage ceil. Remember where we started the mortgage ceiling; it was a hundred thousand dollars. The bank, the Board of Directors, have agreed to increase the mortgage ceiling for the first time homeowners from one hundred thousand to one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. This hopefully will attract individuals in slightly higher income brackets, especially public officers and teachers who have been saying to the bank the one hundred thousand dollar cap is too constraining. Even more important, the bank at the start only services first time borrowers. Now the Board of Directors has agreed that refinancing is going to be introduced by the bank. So then, properties currently occupied by owners that have loans with other commercial banks, will be eligible for refinancing.”

As far as the deposit from B.T.L. is concerned, interest will not exceed three percent per annum. According to PM Barrow, they are looking to attract deposits from the S.S.B. as well. The bank will also branch out into offering loans to small businesses, with a cap of one hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars. 

Channel 5


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