Today, there's a small but growing number of international banks serving those on Ambergris Caye.
The local commercial banks in Belize only deal in transactions involving the Belize dollar.
Thanks to new laws enacted in the mid-1990's, Belize now offers a stable offshore banking option for foreigners. The newer international banks do not face exchange control restrictions, nor are they faced with local taxation. They have maintained the privacy of their depositors.
Of course, crime proceeds are not protected. These banks do offer both a zero-tax regime and a currency pegged to the USD. As a result, Belize has quickly emerged as the most prominent international banking option in Central America.
The government of Belize requires the offshore international banks to maintain 24-percent liquidity, a standard well in excess of that required by the U.S. government. This high standard has offered expats and visitors the kind of safeguard that has promoted trust in the Belize banking system.
Asset Protection Via Trusts
Also, Belize enacted the Belize Trust Act of 1992. This legislation has offered foreigners a comprehensive way to protect assets from entities in other jurisdictions through the establishment of trusts in its international banks.
As a result, such banks in Belize have witnessed a slow but steady growth in their asset protection business. Those who explore such trusts usually find that the fees to establish them are modest. To facilitate the growth of these offshore trusts, the banks have typically emphasized thorough and precise communication with their customers.
Establishing Offshore Accounts
Nonresidents that wish to set up an online account at one of the international banks can do so quite easily. By law, the offshore banks cannot serve legal residents or citizens of Belize.
For example, the Caye International Bank allows one to set up a private offshore account in just one to three days' time without even leaving one's home. The bank then offers these services related to an online account:
- 24/7 Online Banking
- Safely Transfer Funds
- Debit Cards
- View Account Balances
For those on Ambergris Caye, the advantages of offshore banking in Belize add another positive dimension to life in the area. Since the 1990's, the international banking system in Belize has steadily emerged as the best of its kind in Central America.