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Apr 12, 2019

AIBL’s Banking License is Officially Canceled

Amid the ongoing saga of Atlantic International Bank Limited and the winding down of its operations in Belize, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, on the advice of the Central Bank, has formally canceled its banking license.  The revocation follows a number of measures taken by the Central Bank, including enhanced supervision of AIBL’s performance, as well as remedial actions in an effort to preserve the bank’s assets.  While these were closely monitored, a sequence of events unraveled during the week of March twenty-fifth, beginning with the board of directors of the beleaguered institution.  They informed Central Bank of a worsening liquidity position and the resignation of C.E.O. Ricardo Pelayo.  Additionally, AIBL, through its board of directors, also requested Central Bank’s intervention.  This afternoon, Governor Joy Grant issued a statement on the cancellation of AIBL’s license. Here is a snippet.


Joy Grant, Governor, Central Bank of Belize

“The Prime Minister as the Minister of Finance, on the recommendation of the Central Bank, revoked the Unrestricted “A” Class International Banking License of Atlantic International Bank Limited in accordance with Sections 25 and 27(1) of the International Banking Act, Chapter 267, Revised Edition 2011 of the Substantive Laws of Belize (the Act). This prohibits Atlantic International Bank Limited from carrying on further international banking business. The situation unfolded on 8 November 2018, when the United States Federal Trade Commission named the Atlantic International Bank as a Defendant in a case involving alleged fraud related to certain transactions for the sale of land in a property development known as Sanctuary Belize. The Federal Trade Commission then sought and obtained in these proceedings, a temporary restraining order against certain of the bank’s liquid assets in the United States. Atlantic International Bank Limited has experienced challenges meeting its liquidity requirements due; it appears, to the reputational damage caused by being named in the said proceedings. Atlantic International Bank Limited experienced an unusual and increasing level of withdrawal requests. This led to customers facing extended delays in accessing their funds, which in turn led to a worsening of the bank’s liquidity position.”

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