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GOB Introduces the Vesting Bill

On Tuesday the Briceno Administration introduced the Vesting Bill at the Special Sitting of the House of Representatives. It’s an Act to provide for the vesting in the Belize Bank Limited of certain businesses of Belize Bank Corporation Limited. It’s related to Belize Bank’s acquisition of Scotia Bank. Back in April, Caribbean Investment Holdings Limited, the parent company of Belize Bank and a company of Michael Ashcroft, announced that it has purchased Scotia Bank Belize from Scotiabank Caribbean Holdings Limited at an initial purchase process of US$30.5 million. The Central Bank later approve the acquisition. Prime Minister John Briceno introduced the bill and its purpose.

John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize:Following the acquisition Scotiabank Belize Limited changed its name to Belize Bank Corporation Limited and the merger process began. The merger to be completed by 31st December of this year. What this bill seeks to do is to provide the authorization for the vesting of certain assets and undertaking of what was formally Scotiabank Belize Limited into the Belize Bank Limited. Simply put Mr.Speaker what was under the control of Scotiabank Limited will now be under the control of Belize Bank. So if you had gotten a loan from Scotia that loan will be taken over by the Belize Bank. In order to ensure a seamless transition for customers of both banks CIHL has requested the assistance of the Government of Belize by way of the enactment of legislation which would ensure the vesting in the Belize Bank of all existing assets, liabilities, rights, obligations and other property of Belize Bank Corporation in accordance with a business transfer agreement executed between both banks. It is to be noted that no land or buildings is being transferred to Belize Bank by Belize Bank Corporation under the terms of the business transfer agreement. In this case the wording of this vesting bill is almost identical to the wording of the legislation which was enacted for the transfer of the undertaking of the Bank of Nova Scotia in Belize to it’s then Belize subsidiary. The Central Bank of Belize has been consulted and they confirm that they have been continuously monitoring from a regulator perspective the merge process. They have no objection of this proposed enactment on the vesting bill as part of the completion thereof. I’m asking the honorable house to vote in favor of this bill to effect the completion of the merger of these two banks by way of vesting the assets and undertaking of the Belize Bank Corporation into the Belize Bank Limited. Mr.Speaker the bill has the recommendation of the Cabinet.”