Anyone else affected by Atlantic International Bank shutdown

Got news this morning that Atlantic International Bank has been ordered shut down by Central Bank of Belize.  I have an off-shore account at the bank, and tried to make contact to the headquarters office this morning and no one was answering the phone. I contacted a friend in Belize City who told me AIB took down their signage.

Atlantic International Bank has been directly implicated in the Sanctuary Belize scam by the Federal Trade Commission.

It looks at this point that I will not be able to recover my money. … state-suit

It seems the regular Atlantic Bank is not affected, In some areas they shared a building  and to some extent staff, so not sure what affect that will have.

You can go to the FTC website and ask for redress on this issue.  I know there have been some individuals who invested in the Sanctuary Belize scam that have looked into recovering their funds, but I don't know if anyone has been successful. As I posted some time ago, I would have had concerns if I had utilized Atlantic Bank for any Belize transactions, or had an account there. 'Will the old' on this forum has utilized Atlantic Bank International as well, and you might touch base with him. I hope you are able to recover your money.

I am curious to see how this plays out, as I have an account with a relatively small balance at AIB.  I am seeing conflicting news stories posted on FaceBook, one indicating that Central Bank is stepping in to protect deposit holders. Crossing my fingers!

The Placencia branch of AIB was open all day on Wed the 28. I went in the first time about 30 min after opening. I asked for and received a statement of my account from the teller.  It was as I expected, so I made a request to withdraw funds only to be told they had no cash. My balance was less than a thousand USD.

I went back about an hour later after another appointment elsewhere to see the branch manager and to request in writing stating what had been told to me verbally.  He said he could not do that, but did make a notation on my copy of the withdrawal request saying "Not processed, pending availability of cash" with his signature overlaid with his stamp.

An acquaintance of mine is in the process of buying a property so had recently made a wire transfer from a large Canadian bank to the AIB account of a Belize escrow company handling the sale, for almost $200,000 USD (actually Canadian equivalent) . 

It has been about three weeks and attempts to find out where  the funds are at this point have not been successful as of early afternoon. He just knows the funds left the Canadian bank. A request to cancel the wire transfer was made today at both banks.

Later Wednesday, I  just happened to talk to a local businessman that used to contract  hospitality services to "Sanctuary" (Also know as "The Reserve", most recently renamed "BuyBelize") .  He said that one day each week, he and a partner would accompany the Sanctuary sales staff out to their island to meet with that weeks group of prospective buyers, sometime the number of  prospective buyers was up to 40.  He said he stopped contracting services to them a couple of years ago when it got so obvious to him it was nothing but a scam.

The reason I bring this up, he told me included in the sales staff were always representatives from  Atlantic International Bank, pitching to the prospective buyers how easy AIB could provide a loan to buy one or more lots in the development.  Reassuring buyers that it was a safe investment.

So it seems AIB did a lot more than just loan money when a buyer came to them.
AIB apparently went out to the property and pitched the AIB loans alongside the Sanctuary property sales staff.

No wonder the FTC is also going after AIB.

About 5 years ago when first looking for property we approached AIB about mortgages and building loans, We did not go any further as they were insistent that they supplied the list of Builders and architects that we could choose from, and they would provide a mortgage/loan to only to cover those contractors estimates,  The motgage on the land alone would need a 50% up front deposit. All the interest rate would depend on wether we were paying from a UK/European source or a US one. Differed by 3% in favour of European payments. We decided far too constricting and  did not go their route.

I have an account for years and read about the scandal and didn't think much about it.

But now I'm buying a house and needed to make serveral withdrawals.  it's been 4 weeks and I got really worried. 

they told me it's being processed but the delay and tone on the phone was suspicious  and now I find out the reason!

I'm not sure what central bank will do but they did not shut them down.  as long as they are liquid we might have a chance.

I expect their phones will be ringing all day Monday.  i will call the central bank too and se what they plan to do....

I'm naively hoping that AIB will allow the closed accounts to be moved over to Atlantic Bank.

I Really doubt it. I know several folks who only have the international account as they could not get the local account for Atlantic  bank, Scotia, Belize bank ,  Heritage etc account set up,  or in some casesthey  were just not willing to go through the weeks to months long process it takes to get any Belize account permitted through Central Bank.

I just feel bad for people that are stuck. It used to be so much easier to open a local account. … k-limited/

Referencing my previous post on 29 March 2019:

Seems the evidence of complicity of AIBL employees hawking the Sanctuary loans was damming enough that AIBL is not even going to challenge the charges against them. Just liquidate and  close the doors. … -business/ … k-limited/

As a foreigner, this quote from the first link does not give me any warm|fuzzy feelings in getting much of my money back...

” The Prime Minister added that Choice Bank’s clientele were primarily foreigners, but it is the opposite in Atlantic International’s case.

Channel 5 further reports that Atlantic’s C.E.O. Ricardo Pelayo has stepped down and their operations are being overseen by a chairman from Honduras."

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