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Apr 30, 2013

Government to open National Bank of Belize Limited

Dean Barrow

Prime Minister Dean Barrow had a lot to say on Monday in his hour and half presentation…some of it positive and some of it not so positive. One particular item which falls into the ‘positive’ category is the National Bank of Belize Limited. The P.M. says the bank already has a Board of Directors, a Managing Director, a location and startup money of twenty million dollars which will come from Petrocaribe funds. It’s big news for public officers and teachers, as well as for other low to middle income Belizeans.


Prime Minister Dean Barrow

“The mission of the bank is principally to make residential mortgage and other consumer loans available to lower to middle income Belizeans and in particular to public officers and teachers at cheaper rates than are being offered in the market at this time. Now the point is being made that this is fiscal policy in action. Government is directly intervening in the market to cut down costs in a sector that for far too long has given too little back to those on whose backs the profits are made in the first place. Somebody wrote that for me. I’m not too sure I would have framed it in as provocative a manner as that. But the truth is that the whole idea is to put pressure, downward pressure, on the lending rates of the commercial banks. The bank expects to lend to consumers at an interest rate of approximately six point five percent on average. Since the bulk of the monies will be loaned to teachers and public officers we expect that there will be a minimum non performing element in terms of these loans. Public officers and teachers are all good people and true, but remember my favorite Arab phrase – trust in God but tie your camel – there’s also the fact that we can do payroll deductions, you see. We intend to ultimately accept deposits and turn this into a full bore, full scale bank…all the services.”


The interest of six point five percent which is already lower than is offered at the commercial banks will be on the reducing balance of the loan. According to the Prime Minister, those banks have already held meetings to determine their reaction to the startup of the National Bank of Belize.

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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12 Responses for “Government to open National Bank of Belize Limited”

  1. Ricky Malthus says:

    This bank must be inclusive of all Belizeans from the get-go and not only for public officers and teachers. Mr. PM, you cannot be selective or elitist in an economy. It is an excellent idea but don’t use it to advance your own agenda so that you abort the main reason for the existence of the Bank. The Bank must be created to spur economic growth for 350,000 Belizeans. The civil servants already have their credit union and they are illegally tapped into SSB funds so they don’t need another vehicle to help them. It is the man in the street, the small business man, and others who need this seed money to expand the economy by creating jobs and other goods and services.

  2. FAIR JUSTICE says:

    I would borrow from the institution but surely will not b saving my money there. Give me Belize Bank.

  3. busha says:

    so you say things that other people write and you dont generally agree with, or are you trying to cushion your buddies who own these other banks from cussing you out later on over your glasses of whiskey?

    Having said that, this sounds fishiy to me, I would bet my life that the board and comittee members all owe something to Mr. Barrow, I do not like the sound of this.

  4. sickntired says:

    Sound good but i no di put mi money inna da bank none at all. The way this ya crew thief i no weh surprise when they start thief you savings and come up with some stupid reason why. My two cents quite happy weh it de right now.

  5. Eye in the Sky says:

    The banks in Belize are raping the people of Belize dry.
    The government should force the banks to give low interest loans to all or be shut down.
    That is why development in Belize is 100 years behind the rest of the world.

  6. ceo says:

    Hell no! This does not smell good!

    Why not work on governing the country and resolving the crime situation because you go play Banker?

  7. Storm says:

    Making a bank to make loans to low income follows exactly the insane policy that led to the real estate and economic collapse in the USA a few years ago.

    IT IS STUPID TO LEND MONEY TO PEOPLE WHO CLEARLY CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY IT BACK, BASED ON THEIR INCOME HISTORY AND CREDIT HISTORY. Sure, it’s a warm-hearted idea, but financially it is insane. In the US taxpayes lost something like ONE TRILLION US DOLLARS because government encouraged the banks to let almost anyone who was breathing buy a house, WITH GOVERNMENT GUARANTEEING THE LOANS.

    Banks must be operated on sound economic and financial principles, not on political ideas of social or economic justice.

    I don’t like to pour cold water on hot ideas, but it is just a dose of facts. Loans made to unqualified borrowers will NOT be repaid, and that will mean the taxpayers end up making a gift to that deadbeat homeowner. Is that what you want? I don’t. I’d like to see Belize prosper, so every working Belizean can afford some home, and pay for it over time with his honestly-earned wages.

  8. BMNJ says:

    Low borrowing interest rate – yes.
    Favorable terms of payment – yes.
    But sufficient collaterals from borrowers must be in place; otherwise, it would have the same sad outcome like DFC. Remember Belview Hotel’s owner who took out a loan at around $6 – $7 million but had the hotel as the collateral which values only $1 – $2 million?

  9. GOODVIZEZ says:

    This is a great thing for Belize Prime Minister. How about DFC ? Their mortgage interest rate is still 11.5% .

  10. Andres says:

    Let me guess. Anwar Barrow will sit on the board, heck, Anwar Barrow will borrow from this institution to make Quickstop look more profitable.

  11. Think-About-It says:

    Its a dumb idea, plain and simple. It sounds good in theory, as all populist ideas usually do. But if you can’t trust the government to competently run the immigration dept or the lands dept or the ministry of health, why do you believe they will run a bank well? And even if you think this government is competent (I know, ha ha), what makes you think the next one, or the one after that will be? And what makes you think economics rather than politics will dictate the bank’s lending policies? Governments need to stay out of business and stick to making and enforcing laws and regulations, plain and simple.

  12. ALJKM says:

    This is a very Brilliant Idea. Continue to work Hard PM Dean Barrow! You are the best!

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