Banking in Belize

The Offshore Banking Act (No. 11) of 1996 was signed into law July 26, 1996. The act allows certain banking and other related businesses to be carried on from within Belize in foreign monies, securities and assets for persons who are non residents of Belize.

The act provides for two types of licenses.
1.    An unrestricted class "A" license with a minimum paid up capital of $500,000; and
2.    A restricted class "B" license with a minimum paid up capital of $200,000.
A class A licensee must have a physical presence in Belize and may transact all types of banking business without restrictions on that business.
A class B licensee must also have a presence in Belize, but it can only undertake the type of business as specified in the license and may not solicit deposits from the general public, nor provide any type of checking account facility.
Eligible companies must submit this application to the Central bank and it includes:

1.     The name and address of its directors and principal shareholders. This  information includes:

•    Personal Biographical Reports;
•    Two Character references;
•    Financial Reference from a Bank;
•    Police Reports; and
•    Evidence of relevant banking experience of at least one director and the chief executive officer;

2.     The ultimate beneficial ownership of the company or proposed company where the shareholders of record are, or shall be,  corporations, trusts or other legal entities or organizations, or where the shareholders of record are acting as nominees for, or under the direction of, any other person notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law;

3.     The shareholding structure and management of the company;

4.     The financial standing of the company, if applicable;

5.     A detailed business and financial plan of the company;

6.     Provide particulars of referees, guarantors and other third parties;

7.     Provide details of any subsidiary or affiliated company;

8.     Provide details of any overseas office which the company has or proposes to open;

9.     Provide the names and addresses of the external auditors of the company or proposed company, including the experience of the auditors in auditing banks;

10.   Provide such other information of a financial or other nature as the Central Bank may require in any general or particular case; and

11.   Be accompanied by a non-refundable fee as may from time to time be prescribed by the Minister. The fee currently is $500.00.

Additional information related to the parent and its primary banking authority is also required in the case of foreign bank wishing to open a branch in Belize.
•    The annual license fee for a class "A" bank is currently $20,000.
•    The annual license fee for a class "B" bank is currently $15,000.
Copyright 2002 Nagel & Associates, LLC