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Jul 17, 2018

An Update on Choice Bank’s Crippling Afflictions

Late this evening, the Central Bank of Belize issued a statement with updates to the predicament that Choice Bank finds itself in. According to the Central Bank of Belize, liquidator Cedric Flowers and his team have been tasked in fundamentally marshalling of the bank’s assets and customers’ claims in order to develop a schedule of payments in accordance with the law. According to the statement, Choice Bank’s license was revoked by the Minister of Finance, Dean Barrow, on the recommendation from the Central Bank. This comes on the heels of a letter purportedly written by Italian attorney, Giovanni Caporaso Gottlieb, to Prime Minister Barrow demanding the immediate removal of Central Bank Governor, Joy Grant.  Gottlieb says he is representing a large number of Choice Bank account holders. In April, the offshore bank suspended all withdrawals from deposit accounts due to a liquidity crisis and in June, it was reported that Choice Bank would be closing its operations, causing jitters among some clients.  By July second, customers were allowed to withdraw up to twenty-five thousand U.S. dollars. A day later, in a pre-recorded statement, Grant announced the Central Bank’s decision to revoke Choice Bank’s license. Grant pointed out that the bank’s operations demonstrated weaknesses and violations of the International Banking Act in late 2017 but that the Central Bank had imposed corrective actions.  In his recent letter, Gottlieb says that Grant did not comply with “the mandates that the laws of Belize impose on the Central Bank in relation to the Choice Bank crisis.” He says that apart from the customers’ money, Belize’s name and reputation is on the line. Gottlieb wants the Central Bank to allow Choice Bank to liquidate their accounts in an orderly manner.

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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7 Responses for “An Update on Choice Bank’s Crippling Afflictions”

  1. Claudia says:

    The Central Bank sent us the liquidator’s email and we are asking him and contacting the Central Bank by phone or email and they don’t answer… I’d like to know when will we get our money. They say accordance to the law but how long does the law say we will get it? Wich is the law, can we read it?

  2. kuba says:

    this entire farce of Choice Bank has been going on for several months, and we still do not have access to our money. As a bank client, I did not received any information from the liquidator about the whole situation and when I will get my money back .. If ever

  3. Deanne says:

    Almost a month later and still no update from the Central Bank of Belize! Choice Bank was under supervision by the Central Bank of Belize for many months, still they did absolutely nothing to avoid the current situation. Payoneer still tells us to contact Choice Bank where nobody is answering…
    And even more surprising is that an official institution like the Central Bank of Belize is also not answering at all. Something seems to be smelling very bad in Belize…

  4. Gabriel says:

    Payoneer is also responsible for the money of account holders at FirstChoicePay

  5. Gabriel says:

    Any contact to reach Cedric Flowers?

  6. Giovanni Caporaso's Echo says:


    Distinguished Mr. Dean Barrow

    First Minister of Belize,

    This is your humble servant, Giovanni Caporaso Gottlieb, practicing attorney in Panama, with 30 years of experience in offshore banking; I’m writing to you on behalf of a large number of Choice Bank account holders, to request the immediate dismissal of the Governor of the Central Bank of Belize, Ms. Joy Grant, for not having complied with the mandates that the laws of Belize impose on the Central Bank in relation to the Choice Bank crisis.

    Since the Choice Bank communicated to its account holders that it had encountered a lack of cash flow, I, as the representative of a large number of account holders and others, in a personal capacity, have requested the intervention of the Central Bank which has given no answer in more than six (6) months and now, suddely, in the two two days since the Choice Bank anounced that it was ready to appove withdrawals from the accounts, it has canceled the Bank’s license and has put it in liquidation.

    Seeing the ineptitude shown by Madame Goveror during this lapse of time, we’re worried that this could establish a bureaucratic liquidation machine, by naming inexperienced personnel and/or “friends of friends” that might eat up our money in the process, whose plan is unknown and which appears more like a performance worthy of Pontius Pilate (washing his hands).

    We feel that, apart from our money, the name and reputation of Belize and its Financial Center are on the line.

    We don’t want to attack Belize in the International Monetary Forum, which is why we humbly request your immediate intervention, the immediate dismissal of governor Joyce grant and to allow the Choice Bank to liquidate their acounts in an orderly manner, under the supervision of a new leadership of the Central Bank, since the current leaders have been shown as being inefficient and haven’t complied with the laws of Belize.

    We await you quick response and we beg you to not oblige us to unleash an international campaign against Belize.

    Respectfully, sincerely yours,

    Giovanni Caporaso Gottlieb

    Practicing Attorney

  7. Karma says:

    Just steal our money and you will see us running in your country to get back our hard worked funds!

    Who is Choice, Central or even Belize to steal people money?

    Give us our money you thieves!!!

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