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Aug 9, 2018

Attorney General Responds to Choice Bank’s Lawsuit

The Government of Belize is headed to court, following a lawsuit that has since been filed by the now-shuttered Choice Bank Limited.  In an application submitted to the Supreme Court on Friday, the defunct lending institution is seeking relief on the grounds that the Central Bank of Belize contravened its statutory duties under the International Banking Act when it recommended to Minister of Finance, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, that he revoke Choice Bank’s license.  Additionally, the suit is also being brought on the basis that Choice Bank’s right to a fair hearing was breached and that Central Bank, as well as the Minister of Finance, acted for ulterior or improper purposes.  This evening, we asked Attorney General Michael Peyrefitte to respond to those claims, including aggravated damages and damages to Choice Bank’s reputation, in light of the decision taken to shut down its operations and liquidate its assets.

 

Isani Cayetano

“Choice Bank has indicated that it will proceed with litigation against the Government of Belize, primarily Central Bank, the Minister of Finance and of course your office as Attorney General.  Do you care to respond?”

 

Mike Peyrefitte

Mike Peyrefitte, Attorney General

“Well when they go to court, if they go to court, then we will defend it.  I won’t offer any imaginary defense to any imaginary suit.  I am not aware that they have filed anything in the Supreme Court but when they do then we just have to defend it if we believe they don’t have a case.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Are you familiar with the decision that was made in order to, one: shutter Choice Bank and then liquidate its assets in terms of the legality of that process?”

 

Mike Peyrefitte

“I don’t want to comment on that because then I don’t know what the case will be.  I don’t want to give an opinion on a situation and then that has to be litigated in court.  So I will reserve my comments on that for now.”

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