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Jan 23, 2020

CariCRIS Assigns Belize Bank “Investment Grade” Rating

The Belize Bank Limited, the country’s oldest banking institution, has been assigned an investment grade rating by the Caribbean Information and Credit Rating Services.  CariCRIS is the Caribbean’s leading credit rating agency and is an associate company of the globally-recognized rating agency Standard and Poor’s.  The designation is a first for any entity in Belize.  It follows a review of Belize Bank’s operations in keeping with its overall strategic objective.  An investment grade rating means that the Belize Bank maintains a strong presence in the local commercial banking sector with a robust risk management framework and strong asset quality. 


Lyndon Guiseppi

Lyndon Guiseppi, Executive Chairman, Belize Bank

“Over the past five years, we have engaged in a complete overhaul of the organization.  We approached this from several different perspectives.  In the last three years we changed out our core banking system and we are currently in the process of changing out our credit card processors.  We are also changing out the service providers for our ATM backend.  In addition to that, we spent a significant amount of time looking at our loan portfolio.  Over the past ten years we found ourselves in a challenging position where our loan portfolio had deteriorated and were carrying a significant amount of none performing loans.  But in the last four years we were able to retrieve that situation to the point that today the Belize Bank has been able to demonstrate that we have a non-performing portfolio of less than one percent.  This is an excellent ratio, perhaps one of the best in the Caribbean and certainly one of the better ratios in Belize.  In addition to that, we have been looking at expenses and we’ve reduced our cost because one of the ratios we focused on in banking is called the efficiency ratio and our goal is to have an efficiency ratio of fifty percent or less and today we are approaching that ratio.  So against the background of those initiatives, I thought it would be appropriate to invite an independent arbitrator, an entity that is familiar with banking to sort of look at the organization and give us an objective view in terms of how we were doing.  So it was with that in mind that we approached CariCRIS to conduct the credit rating for the bank.”

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