Belize Offshore Baning

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Belize Offshore Baning

Post by Ericwt on Sun Jun 23, 2013 11:56 pm

Opening an Offshore Belize bank account
Published April 28, 2013
Yes you to can be overcharged for uninsured banking privileges,even if you are an US citizen. Belize offshore banks will take US citizens as account holders.
Belize banking offers rude, condescending, incompetent banking with high fees and not a heck of a lot of service.

Some people are desperate to get their money out of the USA, I understand that. But why move your money into an unstable banking situation in a small undeveloped third world country?

When I first came to Belize several years ago all the offshore gurus were yelling about how cool Belize Offshore banking was and all of its benefits.

It was clear to me they were not banking in Belize. It is easy to talk about Belize banking when you do not actually have to deal with it .

When I first went to Belize I actually tried to open an offshore bank account. I had all the papers needed, banking references, source of income and IDs.
The bank manager actually offended me and I walked out of the bank.

With the family business being in Belize for over 25 years, I already had accounts at other banks, so it was not a big thing.

Service is almost non-existent at Belize banks.

They act like they do not want to take your money and they don’t. They want to lend out money at 17% to the locals.

Belize offshore banks do allow US citizens to open accounts. Some you can do it with mail.
What do you need for an Offshore bank account in Belize?

You need your passport, proof or address such as a utility bill, and depending on what offshore bank you use, you need one or two bank references. In most cases they have to be with a bank you have been at for over two years.

The banking reference will be called and verified. Some banks need certain information on the bank reference. Each bank has different requirements.

In addition you will have to give them the source of your income. The days of showing up at an offshore bank with a suitcase of cash are gone.

They want to know how you made that money and what you intend to do with it.

In the international world of Banking it is KYC (know your customer).

The real bank that you apply for the account does not have final approval of if you get an account.

All non-resident account openings have to be approved by the Central Bank of Belize. Approval can take three to six weeks.(That is about as fast as a Central banker can do anything in Belize.)

Belize offshore banking offers limit services with high fees. The term deposits are a joke.
But it is offshore right? Well yeah I suppose, but when you telegraphically transfer funds from your USA bank account to open an account, the money goes right into another USA bank account.

Belize has no direct SWIFT, so if you are opening a Belize Bank International account, you are actually wiring money to BOA in New York City.

Telegraphic transfers can take up to six weeks to clear the Central Bank of Belize.
Belize offshore accounts are usually in US dollars as the Belize dollars value is pegged to the US dollar. (pegged= imaginary value).

Some of the smaller offshore banks offer multi-currency accounts but the rates and fees are high.


Citizens of Belize are not allowed to have US dollar accounts in Belize Offshore banks.
It seems the Belize Qualified Retirement program is a means to sell Belize Offshore banking as a way to have people bring in US dollars and then jack them on banking fees, converting US dollars into Belize dollars.

Although I have been in Belize for a while I cannot actually recommend a good offshore bank. All of them as far as services and fees are equally inept and one is as good or bad as another.

You may have heard in the past that Belize was a good tax haven. That is not reality.

The Government of Belize is totally dependent on the US government. They are not about to hide anything from the US government. There are no secrets in Belize. Anyone who says Belize has great privacy and banking laws does not have a clue about how things really work in Belize.

Likely if someone is telling you Belize banking is swell, they want to sell you a letter of introduction to the bank for $300.00.

You do not need a letter of introduction just the things already mentioned. Save your money.

Belize is a controlled economy and the people who control it are not that bright.
Look closely at the fees as they differ from bank to bank.

Here is a list of licensed offshore banks in Belize.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


These are the only legal offshore banks in Belize.

On the internet there are websites that imply they are a Belize offshore bank, but in fact are just finance companies. Always make sure you are dealing with a licensed offshore bank and not an online finance company.

It really is preferable to contract the bank ahead of time, then get the proper documents and then visit a few banks.

The larger three offer a lot better rates than the small banks.
However the smaller offshore banks offer services that the larger banks do not.

Every transaction coming into Belize and out has to clear the central bank.
If you bank in Belize you will be subject to the rules of Belize. If you or your bank looses all of your money, there is nothing the US government will do about it. That is life. No FDIC insurance in Belize.

I have not been terribly impressed with Belize banking. I suppose it is an option for some people.

All Belize banks are equally incompetent. Don’t say I did not warn you.

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Re: Belize Offshore Baning

Post by de Heydon on Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:28 am

@Ericwt

Are there any offshore banks you do recommend ?

AND, do they take U.S. customers ?
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Re: Belize Offshore Baning

Post by Ericwt on Tue Jun 25, 2013 4:14 am

In today's world it is hard to recommend any bank. The same thing that happened in Cyprus could happen almost anywhere.

I have a few problems with recommending banks. One of the problems I have had include the following.

I recommended HSBC in Hong Kong to people about three year ago. It is still a good bank, but they caved in and disclosed customer accounts to multiple governments.

Even though I made clear that HSBC was not for hiding money I got all kinds of emails cursing me out for recommending them.

HSBC is fine and it is possible in some cases to open an account through the US bank branches.

Well everyone knows it is not a good idea to open accounts with banks that have US branches. So that is not a good idea.

It is still a good bank.

About five years ago a friend mentioned he had opened an offshore account at Heritage Bank International in Belize.

Over the years he praised the bank. Last year I decided to try to open an account there and they became the first offshore bank to ever offend me.

The bank manager thought the bank reference was a fake and wanted me to pay an attorney to verify it, despite the fact that my bank in the states had a phone number and website that it would be easy to verify.

I was furious and no one wants to see me mad. My friend still banks there and is a happy customer.

One time I recommended Atlantic Bank International to someone because I was and am still sure it is the Best offshore bank in Belize.

But the person I recommended had an terrible time with them loosing information, paperwork and managed to totally screw up his online log in. So he could not log in to the account and no one could seem to help him.

So he got mad at me.

Another problem I have is most account were opened years ago. So I have no idea what the current requirements are.

Honestly you are better going to the banks website and asking what the requirements are for opening accounts.

The banking world is changing so fast now that it is hard to keep up with anything.

I was talking to a bank manager at Belize Bank International and asking about regulations. She said, "We used to get a memo from the Central Bank of Belize one or two times a year" "Now we get them every week."

Now usually I go to the country and go to a business attorney and ask them to set up the banking.

Eric

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Re: Belize Offshore Baning

Post by libertys on Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:08 pm

HI Eric,

you are writing: "It seems the Belize Qualified Retirement program is a means to sell Belize Offshore banking as a way to have people bring in US dollars and then jack them on banking fees, converting US dollars into Belize dollars." Why keep more then the necessary amount ( $ 2850 US) if people living in Belize, thus the fee should be negligible. Is the Nova Scotia bank still in Belize?


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Re: Belize Offshore Baning

Post by Ericwt on Mon Jul 22, 2013 8:18 pm

Well the truth is you do not need a Belize offshore bank account to qualify for the QRP. You can use a US bank.

For an individual doing $2,000 or so a month the fees are not to bad. But for an international business it is another matter.

The bank you are talking about is [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
They offer a monthly fee account for US dollars. Although not technically an offshore bank this operates as an international bank under a different license.

libertys wrote:HI Eric,

you are writing: "It seems the Belize Qualified Retirement program is a means to sell Belize Offshore banking as a way to have people bring in US dollars and then jack them on banking fees, converting US dollars into Belize dollars."  Why keep more then the necessary amount ( $ 2850 US) if people living in Belize, thus the fee should be negligible.  Is the Nova Scotia bank still in Belize?


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