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Jan 12, 2016

G.O.B. Taking All Steps to Find a Solution

Dean Barrow

Barrow says that while we are not quite there yet, the potential impact on Belize is real and huge. That is what has forced G.O.B. to be galvanized into action with the hopes of finding a solution.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“It is potentially a crisis; in fact, I don’t want to overstate things, but if we don’t find a solution one way or the other, it is going to be a huge crisis. We are not quite there yet. I hope that my visit to Washington will pay some dividends; although when I had raised it with the President and he had expressed his willingness to try and have the U.S try and find a solution, nothing has happened. But look, both the Belize Bank and Heritage are in continuing talks with various overseas banks. They are going further; not just looking at U.S. Banks. I think Heritage at one point was in relationship with a bank out of Turkey; they are now in relationship with a bank out of New Zealand. So there are those option—not perhaps optimum, not perhaps ideal—but as long as they can take advantage of relationships with smaller banks internationally, we are okay. What has happened those in certain one cause, a small international bank, the bank from Turkey, engaged in a relationship with Heritage and then after a while said we can’t continue. And it is our fear that because all those banks in turn has to deal with the big banks in the U.S.; that the pressure ultimately continues to come from the U.S.—not necessarily from the U.S. public sector, not necessarily from the Treasury, but from the big commercial banks who in turn say that we do what we have to do because of the regulatory burden that the public sector places on us. That’s what the tier-one banks say. So there’s all sorts of moving parts; it is still extremely fluid. As of now, we are in a place we don’t want to be.”

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