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PM says government working on settlement for Atlantic International Bank Print E-mail
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Friday, 10 May 2019 00:00

Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Dean Barrow and the Government of Belize continue to try and resolve the difficulties that Atlantic International Bank has been having since November of last year on Belizean soil. The hope from the Prime Minister is that whatever taint Belize’s banking sector has received due to the Sanctuary Belize land scam allegation, will be removed with an amicable settlement where the bank’s customers aren’t left in a lurch.

As readers will remember, in November of 2018, the US Federal trade Commission (FTC) named AIBL as a defendant in a civil complaint against the Sanctuary Belize real estate scam. That caused their US correspondent banks to discontinue business with them, and as a result, the bank could not continue to service their international customers.

The Central Bank of Belize had to step in as the regulators of the banking industry to protect AIBL’s customers; over 80% of those customers are Americans.

When the press asked the Prime Minister for an update on the situation on Monday, May 6th, he said that several days ago he had a meeting with the US Chargé d’ Affaires, during which representatives of the FTC called in to that meeting, and as the Prime Minister explained it, they started “talking a settlement”.

PM Barrow said, “We are talking a settlement. So I am hopeful that we can get a settlement. The question is how to reconcile the FTC’s interest, as they put it, victim compensation and our interests which also has to be in their interest as well, in making sure of depositors eighty add percent of whom are Americans don’t get left with nothing. The Central Bank has a vested interest. You can call the Central Bank an interested party and the Government of Belize is very keen on seeing this thing sorted because we want whatever cloud the AIBL saga has caused to be lifted from over our jurisdiction.”

The Central Bank has appointed former banker Julian Murrillo as the receiver for Atlantic International Bank during this transition period.