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Concerns Deepen About Choice Bank #530832
06/07/18 04:49 AM
06/07/18 04:49 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,176
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

For months, we’ve been reporting on the problems at Choice Bank - an offshore bank in Belize City.  In early April, the Bank told customers that it’s in a liquidity crisis, and it suspended all withdrawals from deposit accounts with the Bank.   This has caused profound concern amongst the bank’s deposit holders - who are mostly foreign or expatriate.  

But, one of those international clients is not just concerned, she’s panicked!  Anja Schoneveld has filed a sworn affidavit alleging that Choice Bank pans to wind down operations by the end of this month.  Schoneveld is asking the court for an injunction to, quote, “prevent the dissipation of funds…”.

The injunction claims that Choice has brought in a company to quote, “wind down the bank.”  The affidavit quotes a phone call she had with this third party company where their representative, says, quote, “our job is to try to settle or…try to sell the assets as quickly as possible…” End quote.

This will sound alarm bells for Choice’s depositors who could stand to lose substantial sums - if the allegation is accurate.  We could not reach Choice Bank for comment - and the Central Bank’s Deputy Governor declined comment.  We’ll keep following the story and trying to get comment.

Channel 7

Re: Concerns Deepen About Choice Bank [Re: Marty] #530850
06/08/18 05:27 AM
06/08/18 05:27 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,176
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Central Bank Says Choice Under “Enhanced Supervision”

Last night we told you about the concern that at least one deposit holder is having about Choice Bank. Anja Schoneveld has filed a sworn affidavit alleging that Choice Bank plans to wind down operations by the end of this month - possibly leaving depositors in the breech.

Today the Central Bank - which regulates Choice as an offshore bank - issued a statement on the volatile situation. It says, quote, "The Central Bank of Belize, having determined that Choice Bank Limited's suspension of customer withdrawals and related actions are contrary to the interests of its depositors and customers, placed Choice Bank Limited under enhanced supervision.

Consequently, on 8 May 2018 the Central Bank implemented and continues to execute various preventative measures and corrective actions pursuant to the International Banking Act. The principal aim of these measures and actions is to ensure that Choice Bank Limited wholly satisfies its obligations to depositors and customers." End quote.

And trying not to create wider concern in the banking sector, the release adds, quote "this situation is specific to Choice Bank Limited and does not affect the safety and soundness of any other bank (domestic or international) or the financial sector in Belize." End quote.

We'll keep following the story.

Channel 7

Re: Concerns Deepen About Choice Bank [Re: Marty] #531152
06/29/18 06:15 AM
06/29/18 06:15 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,176
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

After 2.5 Months Choice Bank Allows Withdrawals

Tonight, depositors at Choice Bank can breathe a little easier - because after more than two months where their money was on lockdown, - the bank today announced that it is emerging from its "constrained liquidity" - and the good news is that depositors should be able to get back their money by the end of the year.

A release says that as of Monday, all depositors will be able to withdraw up to $25,000 US dollars from their accounts. And then, later in July, they will be able to withdraw up to $75,000 US dollars. By the end of August, that will go up to $100,000 US. The release adds, quote, "by the end of the year, all those depositors are projected to have full access to 100% of their funds should they wish to close their accounts."

It's an orderly transition, staged to avoid a run on the bank after months of uncertainty where one account holder went to court alleging that the bank intended to stiff its depositors by winding up operations.

In its release today Choice said that's not so. It says, quote, "Choice…has made significant progress over the last 60 days in monetizing its assets and is confident that, it will continue to make significant headway in further liquidating its remaining illiquid assets and paying out depositors."

But, that's not the end of the story - the Bank still threw in a little dig against its regulator, the Central Bank of Belize. Choice says it had developed a quicker solution which it presented to the Central Bank in mid June. That would have allowed all depositors to withdraw up to $100,000 US by tomorrow, and the entirety of the balance of their funds by the end of September.

But, Choice says, quote, "delays in the regulatory approval process led to a reduced access to liquidity for Choice….Choice's Board and management have nonetheless decided, to seek to implement a more conservative plan…Choice…is confident that it will be successful in liquidating its remaining assets in such a way as to return all funds to all depositors by year's end." End quote.

We should note that Choice is not a traditional commercial bank in Belize, it is an offshore bank.

Channel 7

Re: Concerns Deepen About Choice Bank [Re: Marty] #531171
06/30/18 05:25 AM
06/30/18 05:25 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,176
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP

Central Bank Revokes Choice Bank’s License

Last night we told you about the press release from Choice Bank - saying it would allow depositors to make an orderly withdrawal of their monies. This, after two months of putting all funds on lockdown. It sounded so good - and was no doubt a relief for depositors - who had been worried since April that their money may have been in serious peril.

Well, it turns out that Choice Bank was playing games with that release. All that stuff about orderly and incremental withdrawals? Not going to happen!

And here's why: The Central Bank revoked the Offshore Bank's license today: Choice Bank can no longer conduct business in Belize. It's a stunner after last night's release which made it seem that the bank's affairs had normalised. But, apparently, that was just a front. In a statement that will air as an ad later in this newscast, the Governor of the Central Bank Joy Grant explains why:

Joy Grant- Governor of Central Bank
"Choice Bank failed to provide the Central Bank with a plan deemed satisfactory that indicated their ability or willingness to resolve the situation. Earlier this week the Central Bank's team of examiners conducted an unannounced special examination at Choice Bank's offices to acquire information that had not been initial forthcoming. The Central Bank has concluded that the actions taken by the ownership and management of Choice Bank were insufficient to properly rectify the situation and appeared detrimental to its customers and depositors. With the revocation of Choice Bank's license the Central Bank has appointed a liquidator Mr. Henry James Hazel, who will be supported by a team from the Central Bank. After the liquidation of the Bank's assets, Mr. Hazel will move to distribute these assets in a fair and equitable manner, in accordance with the legal priorities."

Choice is an offshore bank and does not operate in Belize's regular commercial banking sector.

Channel 7

Re: Concerns Deepen About Choice Bank [Re: Marty] #531768
08/10/18 05:04 AM
08/10/18 05:04 AM
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 65,176
oregon, spr
Marty Offline OP

Marty  Offline OP
Choice Bank Says GOB Gave It No Choice, No Voice

Government has another lawsuit on its hands. This time it's Choice Bank - which had its license revoked by the Central Bank at the end of June.

Well, the Bank has retained the law firm of Courtney Coye LLP - and a 164 page suit names the Minister of Finance, the Central Bank, and The Attorney General as respondents.

Basically, Choice says that it had a Repayment Plan to return all its depositors' money, but - it claims that the Central Bank acted unilaterally in revoking the license and appointing a liquidator.

Now, Choice wants the court to declare that government acted unlawfully and to award its damages and costs. Choice says that it should have had an opportunity to be heard before its license was revoked.

No date has yet been set for hearing.

Channel 7

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