An online news outlet from Mexico is reporting that Belize Bank branch in the Corozal Free Zone has been closed for quite some time. PorEsto.net asserts that the branch is close due to several reasons which have not been confirmed and we were unable to confirm today. However, investors are complaining that it situation is hindering their business operations. In fact, foreign investors are concerned over the current state of Belize’s banking industry in regards to correspondent banking. That sentiment was echoed by Nicholas Ruiz, the General Manager of Belize Trade and Investment at BELTRAIDE.
“It’s something that is on our radar, it’s something that we are keeping a close eye on. Investors have definitely asked us about it and we know that in terms of facilitation and being able to conduct transactions with their home countries that is one of the things that keeps popping up. We work with our Ministry closely in terms of all these legislation on Belize under money laundering legislation, FAFTA and so forth. We have our game cut out for us in terms of what is coming. I am hopeful that the PM will be able to bring through but if not we definitely know that we have to have plans in place to be able to deal with these requirements from investors, to be able to access and send monies to corresponding banks. We’ve been in touch with the banks and have actually expressed this concern so we want to have a focus group to be able to deal with the issue, bring in the banks and the Ministry, talk with the Central Bank so that we have a game plan in place and as we speak we are dealing with what we need to have in place in case the PM does not make a breakthrough but I am hopeful that he will.”