IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, will provide a loan to Atlantic Bank Limited (Atlantic Bank) for US$20 million with a three-year tenor. The financing will promote the growth of Atlantic’s micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) portfolio in Belize including tourism, a sector deeply affected by COVID-19.

It is estimated that MSME generate over 70 percent of Belize’s private sector employment and income and contribute significantly to the country’s GDP. Yet, the country’s MSME face important challenges. Limited access to finance is considered one of the factors preventing MSME from realizing their full potential. The primary development objective of the project is to contribute to increase access to finance for MSMEs in Belize, especially those in the tourism sector, by supporting the growth of Atlantic Bank’s MSME loan portfolio.

Thanks to IDB Invest’s participation, Atlantic Bank will formalize and update its environmental and social management (E&S) system, making it consistent with the performance standards of international financial corporations. A staff member will be delegated to supervise and manage this process, ensuring that all sub-loans comply with the standards required by IDB Invest and applicable local laws, and formalizing its internal claim mechanism.

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A row of thatched palapas on golden sand on the tiny island of Rendezvous Caye in the Belize Barrier Reef

This operation potentially contributes to four United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Decent Work and Economic Growth (SDG 8), Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure (SDG 9), Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10), and Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12).

About IDB Invest
IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to promoting the economic development of its member countries in Latin America and the Caribbean through the private sector. IDB Invest finances sustainable companies and projects to achieve financial results and maximize economic, social and environmental development in the region. With a portfolio of $13.1 billion in asset management and 385 clients in 25 countries, IDB Invest provides innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the needs of its clients in a variety of industries.

About Atlantic Bank Limited
Atlantic Bank Limited (Atlantic Bank) was established in Belize City in August 1971. Although it started as a relatively small bank, as of today, it is the largest bank in the country measure by its assets. Over the years, Atlantic Bank has focused on contributing to build and develop Belize. As a bank, its financing offer for the tourism sector have allowed it to stand out among its competitors. Atlantic Bank’s lending products are tailored for the sector as its commercial terms are based on the tourism industry’s cyclical nature. Atlantic Bank was the first to introduce a state-of-the-art real-time electronic payment platform to support the development of the Tourism and MSME sectors and address their real needs. More recently, during the COVID-19 crisis, Atlantic Bank improved its financing conditions to tourism SMEs, encouraging them to transform into COVID-friendly business models by being certified as Gold Standard according to the Tourism Gold Standard Recognition Program of the Belize Tourism Board.