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6 Useful Tips for Banking and Financing in Belize

By |2018-12-07T22:17:35+00:00December 7th, 2018|Belize, Investing in Central America|

Belize is already known worldwide as a top destination for travel. Beautiful beaches and a stunning climate are certainly appealing, and the number of investors and foreign residents is on the rise as a result.

For many people, the allure of Belize is strong, but the only obstacle is financing. Fortunately, you can bank in Belize and secure financing should you need it. Take a look at these six tips that can help guide your banking or financing journey in Belize.

1. Know Why Banking in Belize is a Wise Decision

One of the most useful tips is to narrow down why you’re actually choosing to bank in Belize. Belize is a top pick for overseas investors, and it boasts a variety of offshore banking services. You’ll be able to take advantage of these benefits if you can clearly define what you’re looking for.

Perhaps you’re interested in overseas banking, but you worry about the language barrier. In Belize, English is the official language of business. Maybe you’re concerned about a complicated legal system. Fortunately, Belize follows English common law and is incredibly straightforward and easy to understand.

Belize offers the potential for lower tax rates as well as increased privacy. Banking in Belize can deliver more security for your assets and grant you stability with your investments. Real estate is more affordable in Belize than in many other regions. By recognizing what makes Belize a great choice you can zero in on what appeals to you most and find the services that net you the biggest benefits.

2. Recognize that Offshore Financing is an Option

A lot of people mistakenly believe that in order to purchase property in Belize, they have to pay cash for the entire sale. The good news is that you don’t have to pay cash in order to make a big purchase in Belize. However, you might struggle to find an American bank that will offer you financing overseas. That’s because the collateral, or the real estate you purchase in Belize, doesn’t have the same value to a bank in the United States.

Fortunately, there is another option. Instead of turning to American banks for real estate financing in Belize, you can head straight to the source. Lenders like Caye International Bank offer loans that allow you to take advantage of affordable real estate in Belize right now. Having this financing option right in Belize lets you purchase property within the country or throughout Central America.

bank in belize

View from Caye Bank Roof Top

3. Look at Liquidity Rates When Choosing a Bank in Belize

Some people who are new to the world of offshore banking might be worried about the security of banking in Belize. Rest assured that Belize is a stable democracy with a solid banking system, not to mention a local currency that is tied directly to the United States Dollar. Of course, it is still smart to pay attention to factors like liquidity rates.

The liquidity rate, also known as the liquidity coverage ratio, shows what percentage of its assets a bank has on hand at any given time. The higher the liquidity rate, the more stable the bank will be. Reserve requirements in Belize are far higher than they are in the United States, at least four times as much! At Caye International Bank, the liquidity rate is set at an impressive 24 percent, ensuring that everyone who banks there can feel safe knowing their investments are secure.

4. Don’t be Discouraged by FATCA

One of the most common reasons that Americans decide not to bank overseas is because of FATCA, or the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. While it is smart to be aware of FATCA, this act shouldn’t discourage you from investing or banking in Belize.

You’ll need to file U.S. taxes even if you live abroad, and you will need to provide extra information to your offshore bank when you begin banking there. However, it is a very minimal amount of action required on your part. You’ll still enjoy all of the benefits that Belize’s banks can offer.

5. Explore Additional Banking Services in Belize

Many people who gravitate toward banking in Belize are typically looking for financing in order to purchase real estate. However, there are a lot of banking and financial services available in Belize that has nothing to do with securing a loan.

If you’re beginning the process of estate planning, for example, then you might be interested in trusts and insurance wrappers available in Belize. You might also want to diversify your investment portfolio by investing in gold or teak wood. If you plan to live in Belize or just spend some time there each year, then you can also utilize more traditional banking services like a checking account or a prepaid debit card.

6. Look for Personal and Business Banking and Financing Options

Finally, remember that you’re not limited to personal or corporate banking in Belize. In fact, you’ll find plenty of residents and customers who mix and match these services. You might choose to establish an LLC in Belize, but you can also open up personal bank accounts.

Keep in mind that the available financing in Belize isn’t just for real estate in Belize. You might choose to purchase property in Panama or Costa Rica, or you might just want to take out a business loan for your international corporation.

Whether you’re moving to Belize or interested in buying a vacation rental to bring in income, it’s worth exploring your banking and financing options within the country.

ECI Development delivers affordable luxury residence and resort communities in Central America, providing our clients with various premier lifestyle options from the Caribbean to the Pacific. ECI delivers inspired residences for adventurous souls.
Coupled with over 20 years of inherent Corporate Social Responsibility in the communities where we work, ECI Development is building a sustainable business that is going to be around for the next 100+ years.

About the Author:

Luigi Wewege is the Senior Vice President of Caye International Bank headquartered in Belize, Central America, Principal of Palmetto Global Ventures a financial consultancy firm focused on digital banking and FinTech solutions and serves as an Instructor at the FinTech School which provides online training courses on the latest technology and innovation developments within the financial services industry. Outside of his main roles he additionally serves as a Mentor at FinTech Go, a startup accelerator for financial technology companies, as a Team Member of the FinTech Portfolio the world's first member-owned FinTech innovation ecosystem, and as a speaker for the Silicon Valley Innovation Center. Luigi is also the published author of The Digital Banking Revolution which is available in audio, kindle and paperback formats throughout all major international online bookstores.