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Editorial – May 24th. 2019

Editorial – May 24th. 2019
May 24
13:03 2019

The fallout from the collapse of Sanctuary Belize, a high end multi-million dollar resort project on prime seaside property immediately south of Sittee River, has buried Atlantic International Bank in an avalanche of debt and left its professional staff of 42 workers without jobs.

AIBL was in the process of completing its new six storey corporate headquarters at Newtown Barracks in Belize City, and was looking forward to a bright future when it was struck down, by what some describe as the biggest real estate swindle ever investigated by the Federal Trade Commission.

The Central Bank of Belize moved quickly to place Atlantic International Bank under receivership, after it became clear that the bank did not have the resources to cover the demands of investors who wanted out.

This became painfully clear after Sanctuary Belize showed itself to be a huge ponzi scheme whose only hope of survival was from continuing inflows of money from new investors.

The Belize Central Bank has had to satisfy the Federal Trade Commission that it exercised due diligence and acted promptly to protect investors at Atlantic International Bank.

But the FTC has blamed Atlantic for not recognizing the pyramid effect and for facilitating Sanctuary Belize with new loan funds to carry on.

Atlantic Bank Limited, which has had a working relationship with Atlantic International Bank, but is not affiliated with it in the corporate sense, has recently become the dominant commercial bank in Belize, out-performing the Belize Bank in assets and financial reach.

The balance sheet of the bank, published earlier this year, shows strength and solid progress, and there appears to be no cause for concern that Atlantic Bank Limited may have been weakened by the misfortune of Atlantic International Bank.

But no one really knows in what subtle ways Atlantic Bank Limited may have been contaminated by its namesake’s collapse.

For now the damage appears to be minimal and will have no effect on the bank’s lending policy. But some clients have expressed disappointment that Atlantic Bank Limited has not seen it fit to make a public statement.

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