By Alexis R. Milan
The National Bank of Belize will be expanding its services to Belize City with the opening of a new branch in the downtown area.
The Reporter has been reliably informed that the new branch of the National Bank will be located at #53 Regent Street where the Infotel Call Center was previously located.
The information indicates that the government has already approved the purchase of the building for more than $3,000,000 from Philip Espat, the brother of Mark Espat who is the government’s Economic Ambassador.
Prime Minister Dean Barrow confirmed Thursday to The Reporter that the expansion is indeed under way, but said he is unable to give any further details about the initiative.
National Bank Chairman, Joy Grant also confirmed on Thursday that the expansion was already underway and added that the new branch should be ready for opening within the next few months, though she could not give a specific timeline.
Grant said there were still certain aspects of planning that need to be dealt with.
She added that the board of directors of the bank will meet at the end of the month to discuss their strategy for the new branch but in the meantime the location is being prepared and equipped with a modern IT system. Preparatory work is currently being done on and in the building in for the opening.
The National Bank of Belize was established in April 2013 using $20 million of PetroCaribe funds as startup capital. The bank’s mission is to provide low-interest credit to teachers, public officers and to the poor.