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Feb 5, 2019

Choice Bank Takes G.O.B. to Court

The Government of Belize, via the Minister of Finance, is being sued by Choice Bank Limited after operations were shuttered in June 2018 when its international banking license was revoked.  That decision was taken by Prime Minister Dean Barrow, who is also the Minister of Finance, on the advice of the Central Bank.  Choice Bank had been experiencing a grave liquidity crisis back in April and it was reported that the company was winding down its business.  Two months later, the bank’s clients were informed that they were only able to withdraw twenty-five thousand U.S. dollars from their individual accounts.  But before they were able to do so, government cancelled Choice Bank’s license, setting off in its wake a lawsuit.  The claim being brought by the defunct financial institution is that the suspension of its international banking license was improper.  This afternoon at three o’clock, Senior Counsel Eamon Courtenay appeared before Justice Courtney Abel in an en camera hearing.  The session went on for two and a half hours where presentations were made before the high court.  Details of the proceedings were not divulged as both parties have been advised against disclosing any information regarding the case.  In November 2018, attorneys for Central Bank, which is also named in the suit, filed an application to have the case management orders stayed until a decision is made by the Central Bank’s appeal board on the suspension of Choice Bank’s license.

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