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Apr 7, 2016

No progress in solving the loss of correspondent banking

Earlier in this block we told you about the extremely generous donations to Belize through CARSI, a US initiative aimed ultimately at strengthening regional security. But the happy – happy, joy – joy feelings were offset somewhat by the presence of the ten thousand pound gorilla in the room – a little thing called derisking. It’s the reason behind banks in Belize, and small jurisdictions in the region losing correspondent bank relationships. The Prime Minister pulled no punches in telling Ambassador Moreno thanks for the assistance, but it won’t help if our economy collapses.


Dean Barrow, Prime Minister

Dean Barrow

“While I repeat that we are extremely pleased at the way that the cooperation has been developing, that business of this thing being far-flung, being security concerns, security preoccupations occupying an entire gamut, gives me a chance to say again that you can’t have security if your economy and your trading relations are faced with collapse such as without wishing to exaggerate at all, potentially confronts us in terms of correspondent banking, so I will I am afraid use this opportunity to say again that a solution must be found to that particular difficulty else all that we do with respect to security will ultimately count for naught. It’s an ongoing struggle as you well know Ambassador and while I must at the same time put on record my extreme gratitude at the facilitation that you helped to organize for when I visited Washington and the courtesy and understanding with which I was treated, the fact is that there has been no real progress, and that’s a point that I think also needs to be underscored.”


Carlos Moreno

Carlos Moreno, United States Ambassador

“I believe as we sit here there is a meeting in the Caribbean involving the US regulators, the banks and other stakeholders in addressing that issue and again I think Belize is at the forefront of really highlighting the need for some kind of remedy. This follows a regional meeting in Central America, Panama I believe in December, again with Belize being a key participant in that situation. I am hopeful that through the combined efforts of our countries and the regulators – I know that we’ve been urging and I believe Belize Bankers’ Association has taken up the offer of accepting some technical assistance from the Department of the Treasury so we are working hand in hand with the stakeholders in trying to address this very difficult, almost intractable problem.”

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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