A new amendment has changed the buying rate of United States (U.S.) dollars for banks and authorized dealers in Belize. According to the official note from the Central Bank of Belize, the amended buying rate is BZ$2 to US$1. Before this change, a different exchange existed when purchasing U.S. dollars from a bank or dealer. The official note from the Central Bank of Belize noted that the amendment went into effect on Tuesday, May 2nd. While the Belize dollar has always had the exchange rate of BZ$2 to US$1, there was a difference when purchasing or receiving transactions in U.S. dollars at the banks. Those exchange rates, such as at Atlantic Bank, were BZ$2.0525 to US$1. As of this week, this rate is fixed at the new exchange rate. The bank assured customers to visit their branches and purchase U.S. currency without paying more.

Several island residents welcomed the change. People previously avoided purchasing U.S. dollars from the bank because it entailed paying more. As a result, they would buy foreign currency from other sources (restaurants, shops, or individuals) to obtain the two-to-one exchange rate. Besides the banks, the Central Bank of Belize allows authorized dealers to purchase and sell U.S. dollars. The buying rate for US$1 is BZ$2, while the selling rate from these dealers is BZ$2.0175 to US$1. Of importance to note is that the buying rate for all other U.S. dollar-denominated monetary instruments remains unchanged. In addition, the Central Bank of Belize encourages individuals and firms to transact their holdings of U.S. currency with an authorized dealer, subject to regulations under the Money Laundering and Terrorism (Prevention) Act.

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