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Despite being more closely fashioned after the British and American banking systems, Belizean banking is similar to those of other countries throughout the globe. All of the banks are owned by or connected to banks in North America and Europe. The Central Bank of Belize oversees four commercial financial institutions in the nation. There is no deposit insurance like the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, unlike other nations like the U.S.A. However, the Central Bank keeps a close eye on the banking sector and mandates that banks maintain adequate liquidity and asset ratios in relation to loans and liabilities. Belize has never had a bank fail. Every operation here is connected to other commercial institutions in North America and Europe through correspondent partnerships. However, numerous financial institutions in Belize, most notably the Belize Bank, have lost clients following the implementation of correspondent bank de-risking in 2016 as it was forced to discontinue its correspondent banking relationships with the Bank of America and other top banks.

Belize’s banking and financial sector

There are three commercial banks with headquarters in Belize:

  • Heritage.
  • Atlantic.
  • Belize.

The neighborhood financial institutions are modestly sized, comparable to small-town savings and loans in the United States. Belize also features a number of local mortgage lenders and credit unions.

The majority of ex-pats discover that banking in Belize is a little different. Most of the time, you can’t just walk into your neighborhood financial institution and open an account. Typically, references including a letter from your previous bank will be requested.

The majority of commercial financial institutions also demand some type of official residency status before you can open an account (the offshore banks are the complete opposite, you cannot be a citizen or resident and bank there). The majority of the time, financial institutions only stay open until 1 or 2 p.m, and occasionally they close for lunch. Modern amenities like ATMs are available in many branches. Although the employees are typically quite friendly after all, particularly when it comes to loans. The cost of loans is considerable. Belizean financial institutions were receiving 14% to 18% or more on corporate loans and even higher on some personal loans while the U.S. prime rate was just at 4%. The interest on a loan might also increase by several percentage points due to hidden fees and penalties.

Here are some fundamental details about each financial institution in Belize, along with phone numbers for the major offices:

Belize Heritage Bank

The newest commercial financial institution in Belize is called Heritage Bank of Belize. It has locations in San Pedro, Big Creek, and Belize City. It is connected to Glenn D. Godfrey, who also runs offshore Provident financial institutions. 106 Princess Margaret Drive, Belize City; phone: 501-223-6783, fax: 223-6785.

Atlantic Bank Limited

The commercial institutions were started on August 16th, 1971 in Belize City. Savings accounts, certificates of deposits, checking accounts, loans, credit cards, point of sale services, and other financial services are all provided by Atlantic Bank for both personal and business use. With a network of 18 ATMs, it has 15 locations around the nation. It is the top bank thanks to some helpful employees, dependable service, and technical developments.

Bank of Belize

It was established as the Bank of British Honduras in 1902 and began operations the following year, in 1903. The Royal Bank of Canada acquired its activities in 1912, ushering in the second era of operations that lasted until 1987. The Royal Bank of Scotland operations were acquired by a group of local investors and started the third period of Belize’s longest continuously operating banking institution, which has served the country for more than 100 years. With a 37% share of deposits and a 41% proportion of loans, it takes pleasure in being the biggest commercial financial institution in the country. It has 11 offices across the nation, located in the towns of Corozal, Orange Walk, Ladyville, Belize City (2), Belmopan, San Ignacio, San Pedro, Dangriga, Placencia Village, and Punta Gorda. More than US$880 million worth of assets and BZ$147 million worth of capital reserves are held there. Main office: 60 Market Square, Belize City; fax: 227-0590; telephone: 501-227-7132. There are eleven Belize financial institution offices, eight for Atlantic, six for ScotiaBank, four for First Caribbean, and three for Alliance Bank. Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. are the regular hours.