Last month it was reported that Choice Bank Limited, an offshore banking company, is experiencing a liquidity crisis. At the end of the third quarter of 2017, Choice Bank considered itself the largest international bank in Belize with more than US$238M in total assets. However, in April Choice Bank told its customers that because recent developing issues regarding its prepaid card component it has been forced into a temporary liquidity constrained position. Yesterday, the Prime Minister explain what the exactly the problem is.
Rt.Hon.Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “As I understand it, is a regulatory problem only in the sense that the issuer or backers of the credit cards in which traffic and which in the main their deposits are meant to secure withdrew from the relationship with Choice Bank. It seems that the Bank does a lot of business with people in the Adult Entertainment Industry. An industry of which I only know by reputation and report ash.”
Rt.Hon.Dean Barrow, Prime Minister of Belize: “And I certainly am no moralist in that regard but its seems that regulators in the US might for that reason alone might have put some pressure on the issuers of the credit cards in which they dealt and of course that caused a kind of run on the bank in terms of people who had the their deposits to back up their credit cards and who were told your credit cards can no longer be issued or your credit cards can no longer be operationalized so it really is peculiar to them.”
According to the Prime Minister, the Central Bank has been asked to intervene.