The announcement that the Bank of America has targetted another bank in Belize to deny it correspondence facilities is not good news.
Three months ago Bank of America cut off the Belize Bank overseas financial transfers, and now it is doing the same to Atlantic Bank International.
These are private banks and they should be able to fend for themselves. They create their own profits, and so when they get into trouble with financial regulators, we expect them to work their way out of their dilema without involving our Central Bank.
We are relieved at the news that the Belize Central Bank has not facilitated any money transfers for the Belize Bank.
Such an action would have dulled the effect of the sanctions imposed by Bank of America on the Belize Bank and would have established a work-around precedent which could come back to bite the Central Bank.
We support the principle that the Belize Central Bank should stand above the fray and insist that banking institutions solve their own problems.
When it comes to international offshore banking, one never knows what one is getting into.
For this reason we would prefer to see our Central Bank standing clear of any involvement with these offshore institutions.
In other banking news, this week it was revealed that First International Caribbean Bank has decided to withdraw from Belize, and is selling its assets to Heritage Bank, Belize.
First Caribbean has been down-scaling its footprint throughout the Caribbean, but in the case of Belize, it has decided to withdraw completely.
This development goes to show that even established banks can have their bad days. But three unwelcome developments for three banks in the span of three months!