25 years of Belize Bank Services, possibly going regional
On Friday night, the Prime Minister extended the olive branch to the Michael Ashcroft group of companies at a huge social event to mark the silver anniversary of the Belize Bank. That public announcement may have eclipsed the re-branding of the bank that that has become the dominant financial institution in the productive sector. A new tagline and logo were unveiled and the Bank’s chairman spoke of the banks community outreach as well as the ambitious plans ahead. News Five’s Jose Sanchez reports.
Jose Sanchez, Reporting
It was the twenty fifth anniversary of the country’s eldest bank, which had transformed over a hundred years from the Bank of British Honduras in 1903, to the Royal Bank of Canada in 1912 and finally in 1987 as the Belize Bank. The Chief Executive Officer Lyndon Guiseppi explained some of the institution’s finer investments in recent years.
Lyndon Guiseppi, Executive Chairman, Belize Bank
“In terms of its pedigree, the lineage of the Belize Bank is unmatched and it is unsurpassed. The Belize Bank and the forerunners have been in Belize longer than most of us can remember and it is my sincere hope; indeed it is entire hope of the entire board and management and staff of the organization that the Belize Bank would be around to serve our children and grandchildren in the same way that it has served and contributed to the betterment of the lives of all our customers that have gathered here with us this evening to celebrate. The Belize Bank has been involved in a number of civic and developmental initiatives which have contributed in no small way to the overall development of the country as a whole. Among the many initiatives that we have been involved in, there are couple that stand out because of their obvious developmental impact: our proud involvement with the Stella Maris School, our involvement with the Belize Bulldogs Basketball Program. Our work ladies and gentlemen with Hand in Hand Ministries; building homes for the underprivileged and deserving families, our adoption of the Neo-Natal Unit at the K.H.M.H.. Ladies and gentlemen I could go on and on and on, but the simple point however is this, the Belize Bank has not stood idly by. We have gotten actively involved in the communities which we serve. In other words we have rolled up our sleeves and we got our hands dirty. We are announcing that we will be awarding twenty-five scholarships to deserving secondary school students throughout the length and breadth of Belize. These awards will be granted to two students from every district and three students from the Belize City district. These scholarships will cover the purchase of books and tuition. We will establish a panel which will collaborate with the Ministry of Education to select these deserving students, who will also significantly we mentored by specially selected members of staff of the Belize Bank. Too often we finance things and then we leave people to do their own. I think mentoring is a critical component in the success of any initiative.”
The Prime Minister was also on hand for the revamping of the Bank’s corporate strategy and logo.
“It must be with a great sense of satisfaction then that the management, staff and the clients of the bank look back at its long past and look ahead to its even longer future. But pride of place in the financial system of Belize as the country’s largest and oldest bank also carries a heavy responsibility. Management and staff must work extra hard to maintain that coveted number one position and that work must be undertaken and that position must be maintained in a manner that sets an example in the best traditions of banking. This means providing top quality advice to clients, it means speed and efficiency in financial transactions and it means preserving, reliability, confidentiality and above all stability. Potential borrowers and investors must be confident that at all times, the bank will offer effective hand holding guidance and depositors equally must know that their funds are always being studiously safeguarded. A banking and financial system occupies a crucial place in any economy. And so special rules are put in place for its management and regulation and any government will hope for smooth and cooperative relations among the entities serving the business community and the general public.”
“Having achieved dominance ladies and gentlemen in the Belizean banking landscape—an observation I am sure you will all agree with—the Belize Bank has now its sights on higher heights. Our stated ambition is to become the preeminent banking group in Central America and the Caribbean.”
Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.