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Apr 21, 2015

Is Belize Being Affected by Derisking?

Joseph Waight

The process of ‘derisking’ is underway by international financial firms that are withdrawing from sectors within the Caribbean region and elsewhere that represent compliance risks.  It is a situation where a number of banks, having assessed the present circumstances, deem it too risky to persist with certain customers and activities, since the risk outweighs the benefit.  Bankers have cited lines of businesses they were reviewing amid an enforcement crackdown and rising penalties for sanction violations.  In 2012, HSBC paid a one point nine billion dollar fine to settle U.S charges over anti-money laundering lapses.  Since then the bank has reevaluated its risk exposure in areas such as money services businesses, charities, embassies and correspondent banking relationships.  The issue also came up recently at the Seventh Summit of the Americas meeting in Panama where Prime Minister Barrow spoke in person with U.S. President Barack Obama concerning the effects derisking will have on the economies of Central American and Caribbean countries. We asked the Financial Sectary, Joe Waight for an update.


Joseph Waight, Financial Secretary

“The prime minister reported that he had a one-on-one with [President Obama] and he spoke on behalf of SICA with President Obama who promised to follow up when he got back home to Washington.  We’re hoping that he will make a difference, but it’s not only Belize, it’s the entire region.  The banks are pulling out, they’re saying that for the small money that they get out of the Caribbean, the fines and the risks are just too large and they’re pulling away.”


It remains unclear tonight if Belize is being affected directly as a result of the pulling away of correspondent banks.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Is Belize Being Affected by Derisking?”

  1. Get it Right says:

    Best believe that Belize has been affected. The US Banks have already given deadlines to all the International Banks as to when they will close the accounts. Only the domestic sectors have not been cut as yet, but it is a matter of time before they pull out of the region completely. As we speak, three of the largest international Banks have been given deadlines that their accounts will be closed. This means that these banks will no longer be able to conduct transactions, which indicates very grim times for the employees. Ask the President of the Bankers Association and the Governor of the Central Bank. This has been long time coming, it just only came in news when the PM brought it up in the summit.

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