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Government persists with upping capitalization of Central Bank

Posted: Saturday, March 19, 2022. 12:34 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Despite contentions that Belize does not face a liquidity crisis, the Government is preparing for any contingencies by passing legislation to increase the authorized capital of the government’s bank to 50 million dollars, with a paid-up capital of 40 million.

Senator Michael Peyrefitte cited Prime Minister John Briceño’s budget speech for the new fiscal year in which he said there will be no liquidity crisis that this legislation also braces for: “If things are bright and people are working, then people can pay their loans, so why the need to worry about a liquidity crisis, which is it? It goes on to say this: Belize’s 2021 national economic rebound may be as high as 12.5 percent. According to the IMF, twice the rate of the Latin American Caribbean regions, in fact safe for Guyana and its crude oil bonanza, Belize is the fastest growing economy amongst all countries in North, Central, South America and the Caribbean. We are baddest of the baddest in this whole hemisphere, so then why are you worried about a liquidity crisis?”

In response, Senator Eamon Courtenay, Leader of Government Business, explained, “There are banks and there are banks. There are loans and there are loans. Not all banks are performing the same way, not all loans are performing the same way. This is designed first of all to raise the capital base of the Central Bank in the event it has to intervene. As I said on the last occasion, the hope is that it will not have to intervene. It is abundantly clear to anyone except Senator Peyrefitte that there are businesses, individual businesses and persons who continue to struggle.”

This bill will also be handed over to the Governor-General for her assent.


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