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Jan 28, 2016

Belize Bank Opens New Branch Offices in San Ignacio

The Belize Bank inaugurated its new branch offices in San Ignacio on Wednesday night offering its customers a more spacious and comfortable location to conduct banking business.  The need for expansion had become real because of the growth in the number of customers and portfolio that the bank has been experiencing in the west. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports. 

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The transition from a well-established location in San Ignacio Town to a modern, spacious office just a block north of its previous Burns Avenue address, has been long in the making.  After almost three decades of doing business downtown, the Belize Bank has found a new home a short distance away.

 

Penny Alfaro

Penny Alfaro, General Manager, Commercial Banking Sector

“Actually the bank has been at the old location for twenty-seven years.  Over that period of time the customer base has grown significantly and as well the staff.  The location, we already had no more space for anybody and it has been some years now that we were promised a new building and when we saw that things were moving to get our new office well all of us were very excited to move.”

 

That transfer was brought about primarily because the bank’s membership had grown tremendously, to a point where the physical space could not accommodate that many customers on its busiest days.

 

Eliseo Rosado

Eliseo Rosado, Retail Manager, San Ignacio Branch

“When it comes to peak days in the month: paydays, clients we have to see, the bank does become a bit crowded to control or accommodate for all the people.  We have people standing outside, waiting in line to get to our tellers.  Hopefully this can relieve some of that stress.”

 

What was once the JNC Mall is now a newly renovated building that allows customers to conduct business with greater ease.  Re-imagined by International Environments, its interior décor done by McNabb Designs, the Belize Bank remains the preeminent financial institution in the Cayo District.

 

Penny Alfaro

“We provide all the banking services that we had already been providing at the old branch.  More significantly though is that this location gives us much more space, comfort for our clients and we are now in a better position to serve them and the wider community.”

 

On Wednesday, the bank formally introduced its new office building.  According to Chairman Lyndon Guisseppe, the launch was part of an overall initiative to spruce up various branches of the Belize Bank across the country.

 

Lyndon Guisseppe, Chairman, Belize Bank Ltd.

“The inauguration of the branch this afternoon is a natural evolution of what we have been doing throughout Belize generally.  You would have noticed that in the last two years we had started upgrading all our major branches.  We started with the branch in the city, we then did the Matalon branch, we did San Pedro and we have upgraded the Sky branch.  This is just simply the culmination of an exercise that has been ongoing now for about two years.  What is probably even more important about this evening is the fact that we are moving from an office which we have occupied for almost twenty-seven years, an entirely new building.  It’s an expanded branch, we’ve opened a commercial banking center here as well and it’s a testimony to the growing business opportunities we see in the Cayo region.”

 

Lyndon Giuseppe

Along with the expansion of the San Ignacio branch is the addition of a commercial banking unit which will assist in financing the development of industries within the Cayo District.

 

Lyndon Giuseppe

“When we started our operations in San Ignacio in 1989, we opened with a branch consisting of seven staff members.  Today we can boast of a staff complement of twenty-seven staff members.  Over the past years we migrated from a general system of administrative management to a more specialized system as we responded to the growing needs of the economy of San Ignacio and Santa Elena and to especially our customers  With the growth in our commercial loan portfolio in recent years, we have established a dedicated unit to provide more personalized and efficient services to these clients by adding a commercial banking unit which will serve you even better.”

 

In 1989 when the branch was first opened, the commercial landscape was a lot different.  Since then the advent of other financial institutions has driven competition.

 

Penny Alfaro

“When we opened it was only Belize Bank and the credit union so we didn’t really have competition and as time went by we had new entrants into the industry and it has grown.  We have enough banks here now and credit unions and as well retail financiers.  So it’s competitive but we manage to hold our client base.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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