The Belize City Branch of the National Bank of Belize was officially opened today. The National Bank of Belize or as the Government would refer to it, “the people’s bank”, was opened two years ago with its headquarters in Belmopan. The purpose of the bank is to provide low interest loans to Belizeans. General Manager, Alvaro Alamina, spoke about the importance of having a branch in Belize City.
Alvaro Alamina – General Manager
“Belize City continues to be the commercial hub within the country and it was a priority for us to ensure that we established a presence here sooner rather than later. The fact that we have accomplished this in record time to have our second branch on our 2nd anniversary is indicative of the confidence of our shareholders and board of directors have in the National Bank of Belize and indeed in the country of Belize. Their desire has always been for the bank to serve as a conduit to provide a positive impact on the banking industry as well as providing quality and innovative financial services which cater to the needs of everyone in this country. Therefore when it was decided at the end of 2014 that we should commence preparations to establish a bank at 53 Regent Street I knew that our directors meant business. To help in getting closer to our customers we now have this modern new office at 53 Regent Street. This branch will mirror the activities of the Belmopan branch but will also offer new services such as night safe facilities, safety deposit boxes, targeting business and corporate customers in Belize City. The catch built area for this branch will be namely Belize City, San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Corozal, Orange Walk and the growing areas outside Belize City such as Ladyville, Lords Bank, Burrell Boom and the other small villages in the Belize District. This bank will continue to follow its motto of being the people’s bank.”
Prime Minister Dean Barrow was the keynote speaker and in his address, he assured the gathering there has been no political interference in the bank’s operations.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow
“As the bank continued, as it grew, as it moved from just mortgage financing to consumer loans and a number of other products that Alvaro told you about there has been absolutely no political interference, no attempt at political interference in the operations and running of that bank. I said to Ministers, I don’t want to hear that you even send letters to the staff recommending anybody for a loan. They said well it’s hard to tell our constituents that we can’t do that and after all if we send such letters the bank will know that they need not pay any regard to the letters and I had to concede that that was the last word. I prefer you don’t but if you do, the staff will know that your letter counts for absolutely nothing. There is one fairly adjunct member of cabinet, the minister of housing who said “Well I always say please help if the person is deserving.” I can’t quarrel with that except to say that then you’re doing the person no favor, your letter is superfluous because if the person is deserving without your letter the person will be helped and if the person is not deserving your letter will make not the slightest iota of a difference and that as all the directors and management and staff will tell you is the way we have succeeded in operating this bank.”
The National Bank of Belize, Belize City Branch is located at 53 Regent Street.