What is the future for Belize’s offshore banking?
Is offshore banking in Belize coming to an end? Offshore banking experts from Caporaso and Partners Law Office in Panama believe so. The law firm attributes this allegation to the recent closure of two offshore banks in Belize, Choice Bank and Atlantic International Bank Limited (AIBL). Even the Belize Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) is warning the business sector to brace for potential challenges when trying to access foreign exchange in the near future.
Caporaso and Partners law firm addressed the issue with Choice Bank, which closed after irregularities were identified by the Central Bank of Belize. A liquidator was appointed, which according to the Panama based law firm, was to dismiss all of Choice’s personnel and to name in their place, people that were close to the government to undertake an in-depth investigation. The law firm says that the government impeded the fair distribution process of said assets. Allegations are that up to now, the liquidator has approved the reimbursement of 53% of the deposits declared in the accounts, but not all payments have been completed. Most of the affected former Choice Bank’s customers are allegedly Europeans claiming that they have been told that their funds cannot be recovered.
The Central Bank of Belize has not commented on the law firm’s allegations. Regarding the speculations that Scotiabank might stop its operations in Belize, the Central Bank indicated in a press release dated August 16, 2019, that the management of Scotiabank had not sought approval for any sale. In addition, the release stated that Scotiabank, in particular, and Belize’s domestic financial sector in general, have been experiencing a robust cycle of credit, product, and service expansion, accompanied by strength, stability, and profitability. According to the Central Bank, as of July 31, 2019, the domestic financial sector’s assets of banks and credit unions totalled a healthy BZ$4.56 billion.Click here to read the rest of the article in the San Pedro Sun