The International Monetary Fund in its latest country report noted that Belize remains affected by issues with correspondent banking. The IMF cites the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships and low capital buffers as key risks to financial stability.� As you would know, several local banks in Belize and small jurisdictions in the region lost their correspondent banking relations with U.S. banks as part of an anti-money laundering strategy, also known as derisking and classified as a U.S. initiative aimed at strengthening regional security. The Canadian-based Scotiabank was not affected and its local Managing Director Michael Shaw explains:

Michael Shaw, Managing Director, Scotia Bank

"We were never challenged with it, to be honest with you. I know other banks were challenged with the correspondent banking issue, but we never had a challenge at all. So our correspondent banking is still very viable and no issues at all. There is no clean up because Scotiabank has one very rigid and strict standard when it comes to anti-money laundering, AML, KYC�all of those compliance issues. So whether it was the previous leadership or this currently leadership, nothing would have changed in terms of because there is one standard that Scotiabank has. So I'm not doing any clean up. The standard that Scotiabank set has always been maintained and every leader-whether it is the previous leader, myself or the future leader will have to maintain and abide by those really strict standards. And one of those standards obviously is evident of your first question you asked. We never had a challenge with our correspondent banks because we are strict with the compliance issues that could come up in the country."

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