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International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes Belize’s correspondent banking relationships (CBR). All affected banks have found some replacements CBRs and alternative ways of processing cross border transactions. The analysis uses a dataset based on a bank-level survey and the IMF staff’s minimum scope framework. Pressures from the loss of correspondent banking relationships appeared to be easing. The US dollar continued to dominate CBR transactions, but its share has been declining. CBR pressures appear to be easing but risks remain. Risks include CBR counterparty credit risk and withdrawal risk, in addition to remaining supervisory gaps which could potentially add to CBR pressures. The importance of CBR in supporting economic activity and financial stability is highlighted in several studies. The results of the study results are consistent with the view that the recovery in CBRs in Belize will support credit growth and economic activity. Ensuring the availability and timely access to beneficial ownership of legal persons and arrangements established in Belize would limit the opportunity for their misuse and improve the transparency and the reputation of the sector.
Mr. Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, Mr. Jacques Bouhga-Hagbe, Mr. Thomas Dowling, Dmitriy Kovtun, Ms. Alla Myrvoda, Mr. Joel Chiedu Okwuokei, and Mr. Jarkko Turunen
Banks across the Caribbean have lost important Correspondent Banking Relationships (CBRs). The macroeconomic impact has so far been limited, in part because banks either have multiple relationships or have been successful in replacing lost CBRs. However, the cost of services has increased substantially, some services have been cut back, and some sectors have experienced reduced access. Policy options to address multiple drivers, including lower profitability and risk aversion by global banks, require tailored actions by several stakeholders.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This paper highlights the stock of recent developments in Belize’s financial system. The financial system remains sizable, at 157 percent of GDP in March 2017. The importance of macrofinancial linkages justifies their continuous monitoring, not only for financial stability but also for overall macroeconomic stability. Both domestic and international banks play important roles in mobilizing savings for domestic investment and in facilitating external trade, on which the small open economy of Belize strongly depends. The financial intermediation role of offshore banks has declined in recent years. Offshore banks receive deposits in foreign currency from nonresidents, and lend to foreign investors, and domestic businesses, mostly in the real estate and tourism sectors. The Central Bank of Belize (CBB) is committed to securing financial system soundness. It conducted 5 on-site examinations in 2016, including 3 full-scope examinations for two domestic banks, and one credit union.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper analyzes macro-financial linkages for Belize. The banking system in Belize is facing significant challenges that could have a negative impact on the wider economy. Under adverse scenarios, the loss of correspondent banking relationships (CBRs) could have a sizeable impact on Belize’s economy and financial stability as fewer CBRs, different local banks’ business models, or stricter due diligence requirements could kick many economic agents out of formal trade and finance channels. Threats to the financial system, including those related to money laundering and terrorist financing, should be tackled on multiple fronts, including through closer coordination with regional and global public and private partners.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the current strength of the balance sheets of large banks in Belize and takes stock of progress made on the regulatory, supervisory, and crisis management frameworks since the 2011 Financial Sector Assessment Program (FSAP). The improvement in financial stability indicators was boosted by implementation of key FSAP recommendations. The Central Bank strengthened provisioning and loan classification standards. The new rules force banks to focus more on the borrower’s capacity to repay the loan rather than on the value of collaterals. The regulatory, supervisory, and crisis management frameworks as well as the financial infrastructure could be further strengthened. The supervision department of the Central Bank could be strengthened with examiners specializing in information technologies (IT) with the view of ensuring the integrity of banks’ IT systems. Asset quality reviews and forward-looking stress tests could complement current supervisory practices and improve Central Bank’s assessments of banks’ balance sheets.
International Monetary Fund
This paper highlights key finding of the assessment of financial sector regulation and supervision in Belize. The assessment reveals that banking supervision in Belize complies with or is largely compliant with most of the Basel Core Principles. Under current arrangements, the Minister retains a good deal of discretionary authority with respect to banking supervision, but this situation is likely to be modified if a draft bill, now under discussion, becomes law. Retention of qualified staff is a continuous problem with the result that the intensity of banking supervision varies.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department

Abstract

The speeches made by officials attending the IMF–World Bank Annual Meetings are published in this volume, along with the press communiqués issued by the International Monetary and Financial Committee and the Development Committee at the conclusion of the meetings.