The Choice Bank of Belize, after 10 years on the market, is passing through a strong liquidity crisis that has driven it to stop withdrawal of money by its accountholders. The problem is very serious; however, in such a complex context, the Central Bank of Belize’s – which has the objective of regulating the Central American country’s financial system, as well as issuing the nation’s currency – lack of action is astonishing. The Choice Bank’s accountholders are extremely worried about the situation of their assets. The law firm Caporaso & Partners got in contact with the Central Bank of Belize with the objective of receiving an answer to its multiple concerns about the subject; however, this institution offered the following as its single, insufficient answer: “We aren’t allowed, by our statutes, to respond to your specific questions. Direct your specific requests to the Choice Bank.”
To the accountholders, who have trusted said bank, this “answer” seems to be a taunt. All of them had previously contacted the Choice Bank, but it didn’t offer any information, beyond a brief statement where it admitted that “a problem with the prepaid cards” has affected the freeze on the accounts.
In this statement, the Choice Bank admitted that it maintains a positive balance sheet, with retained accumulated earnings of more than 26 million dollars. This information doesn’t seem credible, because otherwise the financial institution wouldn’t have frozen its accountholders’ assets.
The Central Bank of Belize recognizes its mission and objective as ensuring the country’s financial stability and economic growth. In the case of Choice, the Central Bank has done the complete opposite, because by not offering information it has created distrust over Belize’s financial system.
The Choice Bank had obtained an international banking license, Class A, through which it could carry out transactions through its business office in Belize. To maintain the license, it had to have a minimum authorized paid capital of 3,000,000 US$ and it’s the responsibility of the Central Bank of Belize that they comply with this. Therefore, if the Choice Bank has problems and the banking authority of the country doesn’t intervene in time, this shows a lack of compliance of its functions.
Central Bank take action and start the Choice Bank Liquidation
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