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Aug 23, 2019

Is Scotiabank Limited Leaving Belize?

There have been consistent reports that Scotiabank Belize is pulling out. Regionally the bank is said to be exiting from several branches in the Caribbean. The Central Bank of Belize, however, is saying it has not received notice from the bank of the possibility of a sale. The Jamaica Gleaner is reporting that David Noel, the head of Scotia Group Jamaica, whose remit includes oversight of select countries in Scotiabank International’s regional operations, says Belize remains within the Caribbean network. The Gleaner reported that it was as close as Noel seemed prepared to address in respect of the reports that Scotia Belize was being acquired by a Jamaican bank. When asked if Scotia Bank was being sold, Noel said quote, “As a matter of policy, we do not comment on market rumour and speculation. In Belize, our focus is on serving customers and providing products and solutions to meet their needs”. According to the Central Bank, over the past few years, it has become widely known in regional banking circles that Scotiabank has been implementing what it reportedly considers a strategy to exit non-core operations. Scotiabank’s management has not advised the Central Bank of any proposal to sell their Belize operations to another bank. Should it formally propose such a sale, the Central Bank will carefully consider all abilities and attributes of the successor institution including the fitness and propriety of the institution’s principals, to ensure that the current quality and breadth of banking intermediation are maintained.  Scotiabank International is in the process of selling its Caribbean operations in nine markets to Republic Financial Holdings Limited of Trinidad and Tobago. It has been operating in Belize since 1958. The Scotiabank branch in Belize has not made any comment about the reports.

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