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Jul 14, 2016

Chairman Says Belize Bank is Recovering from Derisking Woes

For the past two years, correspondent banks in the U.S and Europe have been cutting relations with banks across the Caribbean. Since 2015, the U.S. has been putting the squeeze on local banks due to suspicions of terrorism financing and money laundering. A number of local banks have been affected, including the Belize Bank, Heritage Bank and even the Central Bank. Today, we caught up with the Chairman of the Belize Bank, Lyndon Guiseppi; he told us that as it relates to the Belize Bank, the bank is on its way to recovery.


Lyndon Guiseppi, Chairman, Belize Bank

“The whole concept of the derisking issue has to do with correspondent banks, essential American banks and European banks, taking a decision not to do business in certain jurisdictions for concerns regarding either terrorist financing or money laundering or alternatively because it don’t consider the profits that it makes in those jurisdictions to be sufficient. Now Belize has been impacted significantly, but I hasten to add, it is not a Belizean phenomenon. Most of the countries in the Caribbean, from Trinidad in the south to Jamaica in the north have had the lost of correspondent bank in last two years. Belize is peculiarly juxtaposed in Central America between Mexico and Guatemala, has found itself, I guess, at the tip of the spear. But what I would say is that we are finding solutions to work around that and that why the crisis hasn’t come to an end, the banks in Belize, certainly Belize Banks, we are finding ways to provide the correspondent banking services to our clients for them to get their money out of the country or to allow money to come into the country. We are extremely optimistic that this matter is going to be resolved in the short term and we are already on the road to recovery.”


Lyndon Guiseppi


“Can you give us a timeline for when that recovery stage will be reached?”


Lyndon Guiseppi

“Sure, well as it is now, we continue to provide all of the correspondent banking services that we have provided in the past. The difference between now and a year ago is that it is taking a bit longer to get the wires out; it’s taking a bit longer to get the wires in and it is become a little more expensive to get the wires out. But fundamentally we continue to provide the same services. We just need to find a mechanism that will expedite that process.”

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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