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#499550 - 01/05/15 06:46 AM Confused about banking...  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 16
Skuba Offline
Skuba  Offline
I've read alot about banking in Belize, and I'm interested specifically in San Pedro. Can any expats give me some advice? I have direct deposits in a big American bank, as many of you probably do as well. How do you handle your finances there?

Thank you!!


#499561 - 01/05/15 12:50 PM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 5,943
Diane Campbell Offline
Diane Campbell  Offline
If you live here, you can open a bank account. You'll need a ton of paperwork to open an account but I'm told it's that way most places these days. I understand that Atlantic may be the easiest bank to work with for opening a new account.

There is a charge for converting USD into Bzd. Ask the local bank about those fees.

You can pay most bills online, and can get a credit card. Pretty simple once your account is open.

#499565 - 01/05/15 01:37 PM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,334
dabunk Offline
dabunk  Offline
Leave your money in your US account and access it through ATM once you convert it into Belize dollars by depositing it in a Belize bank it will cost you alot to convert back and no one outside of Belize accepts BZE dollars

#499575 - 01/06/15 04:11 AM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,193
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
My favorite and friendly bank is Belize Bank but Atlantic Bank is the only Bank in the country that US Social Security will allow direct deposit of their checks to Americans living in Belize and the US Embassy endorsed them verbally in my resent visit. Scotia Bank may win the prize for the worst service and Heritage Bank is just too young and unorganized for my confidence. All the Banks are busy conforming to the new Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) .
expect to sign a pile of agreements and have documents as well as a utility bill (water or electricity) that shows an address here with your name on it.
Offshore Banking has been kicked in the head by US interference and lots of folks are getting out of them.
Exchanging US dollars for Belize or Belize for US at the Bank, IMHO, has always seemed difficult, unprofitable and unnecessary since the US currency spends at a rate of two BZ to one US everywhere but the banks.

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#499582 - 01/06/15 05:37 AM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 16
Skuba Offline
Skuba  Offline
Thanks all- so, there is not really a way around opening a local acocunt, if I plan on staying for any length of time. Think I got it...

#499586 - 01/06/15 05:51 AM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 12,193
elbert Offline
elbert  Offline
It surprises me how many institutions require proof or residency in the form of a utility bill with your name on it. You would think a government issued residency card would suffice but the electric company's bill to you with a San Pedro address seems to be a golden key.

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#499591 - 01/06/15 08:36 AM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Jan 2003
Posts: 7,468
SimonB Offline
SimonB  Offline
Which sucks if utilities are included in your rent... (been there)

#499593 - 01/06/15 08:51 AM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 16
Skuba Offline
Skuba  Offline
Thanks again.

#499612 - 01/06/15 03:30 PM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,160
Phil Offline
Phil  Offline
My experience with Atlantic and Scotia are the opposite of Elbert's. They are however Banks and I've yet to have one anywhere in the world that remembers whose money it is........

#499624 - 01/06/15 10:00 PM Re: Confused about banking... [Re: Skuba]  
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 111
Agavegirl Offline
Agavegirl  Offline
I was under the impression you could own property there which is rented out in order to deposit the income (provided you complied with the other ridiculous requirements). Is this still true? I am also researching this question.

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