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Banks in Belize

We bank with Scotia Bank in Canada, are they also located in Belize and if so, can you transfer Canadian Currency via the local Scotia Bank and or ATM.

What other banks are currently in the country?

Scotia Bank
Address: 1st St S, Corozal, Belize
Phone:+501 422-2046

As for transferring money from Canada probably you need to contact the bank.

Bsimpson :

We bank with Scotia Bank in Canada, are they also located in Belize and if so, can you transfer Canadian Currency via the local Scotia Bank and or ATM.

What other banks are currently in the country?

Same name, but when you go into the Scotia Bank in Placncia they tell you they are not connected.

My recomendation is if you are going to open an account with a bank in Belize, go with Atlantic Bank International. Took me two months to get approval to open an account with them after waiting for six weeks to be turned down by the domestic Atlantic Bank because I was not a resident.

The folks at domestic Atlantic Bank could have told me that right away, but for whatever reason chose not to. And yes I had all of the Originals for all the documents and letters they list on their web site that one needs to open an account.

I got all my originals back, walked over one desk, four feet away, gave these same originals to the  Atlantic Bank International banker, he said it was all I needed and sent them in. Two months later I was notified all was well. Opening  a bank account in Belize can be a frustrating experience at best......oh and then there are the fees....... lots of them.  :o

Bsimpson :

We bank with Scotia Bank in Canada, are they also located in Belize and if so, can you transfer Canadian Currency via the local Scotia Bank and or ATM.

What other banks are currently in the country?

Our experience was a little different with Atlantic Bank. Once we had the required documentation our account was opened within a week, with no fees other than the minimal minimum balance (BZ$150.00 I believe) required to open the bank account and BZ$3.60 to have a check book made up. I find as Canadians some of these processes are a little easier than it is for our American friends. I can only assume it is because of FACTA requirements imposed by the US banks on the Central Bank of Belize and their concerns for money laundering.

There is a lot more documentation required in Belize than in Canada. We found a lot of service charges with Scotia Bank and were told we could not directly transfer Canadian funds. We have never been charged a service charge or an account fee from Atlantic Bank. We use our Canadian ATM cards and withdraw BZ$ to deposit in our local account. I would however recommend visiting your home bank and be sure that your debit cards are good for use at Belize (Caribbean) ATM's and have them raise your daily and monthly withdrawal limits to the maximum.

Here is a link to my video explaining the process and documents that you will be required to submit.

https://youtu.be/5xr-58J4-LQ

Good luck, I hope this helps.

Thank you so much for the information, this will save us a lot of headaches down the road!
Much appreciated!

Thank you also for the immediate response to my banking questions!
I am sure all the information you have provided can and will eleviate issues moving forward.

Very much appreciated!

My pleasure Bsimpson.

Hi Bill, I am glad not everyone has the experience I had.
My experience started in May of this year, when did you open the account you mentioned?

Will The Old.

We opened our account in May of 2015, so a year prior to you.

Hi Bill

We have not opened a acount as of yet, but just trying to be proactive when we do.

billdoesbelize :

Will The Old.

We opened our account in May of 2015, so a year prior to you.

Seems in the last year the reaction (over reaction?) by banks in Belize to changes in US Banking laws has made what should/could be a simple process more complex. One example, look at all the turmoil over Correspondent banking relationships that has happened this last year. Belize Bank dissolving its international division for another.

I think my recent experience is typical now for  US Citizens, and it will be interesting to hear feedback from Canadians as they go through the current process.

Are there any Brits on the forum who can advise whether its any easier for us (than a US or Canadian expat) to open a bank account in Belize? Is it possible to open, or prepare to open an account online, or do you need to be in Belize to open an account?
Finally, do i need to be looking at opening an offshore bank account, or just a standard, domestic account? (the account would just be used for day to day personal use, bill paying etc, not business use)

Thanks,
Gary

As Brits, it's easier for us to open an account than the US citizens. As I understand it, the banks here have to report back to the US about their citizens, and, as they aren't paid for this, they aren't very keen.
We opened a B$ savings and US$ account to bring money into Belize. Both accounts pay interest!  We are on QRP, so BTB need to see money being brought in each year. Atlantic change US$ to B$ at 1:2.  I think we sent the bank all the necessary documentation, and then went in to actually open the account, but that was a few years ago.

not sure if you can still open accounts totally on line. opened our first account that way in 2013 but when changing banks (because Belize bank had no correspondent arrangement) we had to do it mostly in Country  We are Brits, living mostly in the US, and  we wire monies from both us and Uk accounts since opening the Scotia account wire transfer are quick and simple.

AS a senior Canadian and Scotia Bank customer I just use my ATM with no fees and have no account in Belize and no intention of getting one.

Hello guys,,,
My name is Tiago Lacerda, from Brazil...
I´m considering to go to Belize next year and apply to QRP.
Would like to know the best international bank to open an account...
Regards...
Tiago

We are Canadians and have been banking at ScotiaBank in Belize since 2013. Last summer and this spring (January - March) transferring money in from Canada has been impossible! When the money is transferred from a Canadian bank it has to go through a US bank as an intermediary (JP Morgan). The money left our Canadian bank as required, but when it got to the intermediary US bank, they refused to send it on to ScotiaBank in Belize! This happened to us 4 times before we finally gave up. Withdrawing from your Canadian bank using a bank card is possible, but gets very expensive. It costs service charges at both ends and ends up costing $14 Canadian plus exchange per transfer and you can only transfer $1500 Belize at a time. Very costly when you are trying to buy a vehicle or build a house! We are now looking at other options, since the US banks are treating us that way.

It is the US banks that are refusing to be a correspondent bank. All to do with the strict Laundering rules in the US, the banks decided instead of bothering to strengthen their own security they would just abandon the smaller countries that needed them, as they do not make them sufficient profits.
As we have US chase accounts we have not had problems  since getting a Scotia account. But it became impossible to transfer funds to a Belize bank account from the US.
We can transfer to either of the Belize  banks with little difficulty from our UK bank accounts. We did in desperation when needing to make a big payment for building our house, transfer from US to UK to Belize Bank. but too tedious after that I resorted to carrying cash and declaring it in customs. Luckily we then got the Scotia account up and running.

My husband and I are concerned about that. We are selling our house and need to take that money and our savings to Ambergris Caye where we own land to live and build a house. How are we going to get our money there? How do we handle our social security money and my husbands pension? It is scarey. We are concerned. We, like everyone else works hard for our money and do not want to pay hefty fees. Any help or insight would be appreciated.

Well after initially being refused by the central bank an account with Scotia we got Scotia bank to appeal that decision pointing out the TSB requirements for te transfer of monies into a Belize Bank  account. At that point Central bank changed their decision. I use Belmopan Branch of Scotia Bank and they have very helpful staff. Just don't expect anything to be done fast on Market days.

Doesn't Atlantic have an international arm? Everyone I know who deals with Atlantic loves them.

Hello guys,
I would like to know if I could open an account like a turist... in other words, in the first month... Is that possible ?????

Monkey Town brew :

Doesn't Atlantic have an international arm? Everyone I know who deals with Atlantic loves them.

We love Atlantic Bank. We use our Canadian ATM card to bring money in, we then deposit what is required to pay utility bills online with them. We have never paid a service charge on either our chequing or savings accounts. We also made sure that the type of Canadian account we had gave us free international Debit card use. Admittedly we have to maintain a fairly large minimum balance (like CAN$5000.00) to enjoy that option and be free of service charges, or a steep monthly account fee if we don't.

tiagolacerda :

Hello guys, I would like to know if I could open an account like a turist... in other words, in the first month... Is that possible ?????

I don't think at this time anyone could guarantee that. We had all of the required documentation and the process was complete in less than two weeks. That was almost 3 years ago but things have significantly changed since then. Not so much with the process to apply, but with the banks willingness to grant approvals.

thanks Bill
...
Regards,
Tiago

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