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January 15, 2020 – Appointment of a New Liquidator
Choice Bank Limited
IT IS NOTIFIED, for general information that in accordance with Section 26 of the International Banking Act, Chapter 267 of the Substantive Laws of Belize, Revised Edition 2011 (“the Act), the Central Bank of Belize has appointed a new liquidator in respect of Choice Bank Limited with effect from 20 January 2020.
IT IS FURTHER NOTIFIED, for general information that:
1. In accordance with Sections 25, 26 and 27 of the Act, the Unrestricted “A” Class International Banking Licence of Choice Bank Limited has been revoked with effect from 29 June 2018.
2. The rights, powers, responsibilities and authorisations of shareholders, directors, officers responsible for management of Choice Bank Limited and any other person previously authorised to act or give instructions on behalf of Choice Bank Limited have been cancelled and such persons are no longer so authorised.
3. The liquidator, succeeds to all the rights, powers and authorisations of shareholders, directors, officers responsible for management of Choice Bank Limited and any other person previously authorised to act or give instructions on behalf of Choice Bank Limited with effect from 20 January 2020.
4. Mr. Kareem Michael’s appointment as liquidator of Choice Bank Limited has expired. Mr. Julian Murillo was appointed to replace Mr. Kareem Michael as liquidator for Choice Bank Limited with effect from 20 January 2020.
MADE this 15th day of January, 2020.
AMB. A. JOY GRANT
Governor, Central Bank of Belize
January 06, 2020 – AIBL – Schedule of actions proposed for the liquidation of Atlantic International Bank Limited ___________________________________________________________________
The Liquidator published the Schedule of liquidation events this week. To access the public information, click here.
November 25, 2019 – AIBL – Atlantic International Bank Limited (in Liquidation) Liquidator’s Update ___________________________________________________________________
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from the Liquidator of Atlantic International Bank Limited.
1. What is the status of the liquidation?
The Liquidator has completed the processing of claims and has prepared a Schedule of Actions Proposed for the compulsory winding-up of Atlantic International Bank Limited (the Schedule). The Schedule will be filed with the Central Bank of Belize on 6th January, 2020, and will be available for inspection on 7th January, 2020 at the liquidation office of Atlantic International Bank Limited in Belize City, Belize.
2. What is the Schedule and its purpose?
The Schedule is a document prepared by the Liquidator which is submitted to the Central Bank and also made available for inspection by depositors, other creditors and shareholders. It outlines steps involved in the liquidation process and states how the Liquidator plans to complete the liquidation of Atlantic International Bank Limited.
Any depositor, shareholder or other creditor or interested party may object to any action proposed by the Liquidator in the Schedule.
3. What information is contained in the schedule? How may we inspect the Schedule?
The Schedule will be available for inspection at Atlantic International Bank Limited’s Office in Belize City as required by law. However, a summary of the Schedule will be posted on the liquidation website. It will contain highlights of the Schedule.
4. Will the complete Schedule be available electronically?
The complete Schedule contains information on each claim against Atlantic International Bank Limited with details of the names, accounts and amounts held by each depositor as well as details of the assets (including loans and advances) of Atlantic International Bank Limited. In order to protect the privacy and confidentiality of claimants and borrowers, the document will not be published in its entirety on the website nor will it be emailed.
5. How can we object to a proposed action in the Schedule if we don’t have the complete Schedule?
The summary which will be presented on the website will be consistent with the information contained in the complete document, except for detailed information on claims and account balances. Each claimant by now would have received a response to his/her claim and would therefore not need to view that information from the Schedule. In other words, each claimant would have sufficient information to file an objection to the result of his/her claim.
If an interested party seeks to object to any other proposed action in the Schedule, then the summary offers sufficient information to do so, if that person is unable to visit the Atlantic International Bank Limited liquidation office in Belize City.
6. Can someone inspect the Schedule on my behalf?
Yes. Claimants may provide authorisation for another party to inspect the Schedule on their behalf.
7. What is the deadline for filing objections?
The deadline for filing objections is 27 January, 2020. This deadline applies to any objection of any nature in relation to the Schedule or claims.
8. How may an interested party file an objection?
Objections are to be filed with the Central Bank of Belize. The Objection Form will be available for download from the liquidation website and must be completed and sent to the Central Bank at the physical address or by the email to the address provided on the form.
9. I was advised that my claim was allowed in full but that the amount I will receive will not necessarily be the amount allowed. What does that mean and will I receive less than the amount I have claimed?
The amount of your claim allowed by the Liquidator is the value (amount) of your claim which has been proven as a valid claim against Atlantic International Bank Limited.
The amount you will receive will be based on the amount of money available for distribution to claimants and will also be based on the order of priority set out in the laws of Belize for this purpose. Under the Domestc Banks and Financial Institutions act, claimants with claims of US$2,500 or below will be paid the full amount on their claims.
The Liquidator and his team continue their best endeavours to dispose of assets for maximum value in order to secure the best outcome for claimants. Notwithstanding this, there are multiple factors which affect recovery values and therefore other claimants (claims allowed which are greater than US$2,500) will likely receive less than the full amount of their allowed claims.
10. Why was only a portion of my claim allowed?
Claims were evaluated as of 12 April, 2019, the date of revocation of the banking license of Atlantic International Bank Limited and appointment of the Liquidator, and based on records of the bank available to the Liquidator. The portion of any claim allowed reflects the extent to which the claim was proven.
11. If only a portion of my claim was allowed, can I appeal that decision?
Yes, that and all decisions on claims may be appealed to the Central Bank through the objection process since those results are incorporated in the Schedule. You will need to submit the completed Objection Form to the Central Bank. Note that the deadline is 27 January, 2020.
12. If my claim was totally rejected, may I appeal that decision?
Yes, same answer as above.
13. When should we expect payment?
Preparations are being made for a first distribution payment in February or March, 2020 after
the objection period has elapsed, and subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Belize.
14. How will payment be made?
Payments will be made by wire transfers and/or any other method approved by the Central
Bank of Belize.
15. Who will be able to receive payment?
Only those persons on record at Atlantic International Bank Limited will receive payment, unless the appropriate instructions are provided to Atlantic International Bank Limited designating another person or entity to receive those funds, and such instructions will be in a form acceptable to the Liquidator.
16. After the first distribution/payment, when should we expect the next payment?
The Liquidator is unable to determine the timing of subsequent payments at this point. A subsequent distribution would be made based on the timing and availability of cash in the liquidation to be received from the settlement of loans, conversion of investments, collections of account balances due, as well as other factors.
Julian A. Murillo
Liquidator – Atlantic International Bank Limited
September 18, 2019 – AIBL Update
Update from the Liquidator of Atlantic International Bank Limited.
The Liquidator and his team are working diligently and aim to complete the steps in the liquidation process well within the deadlines provided for by law, with a view to distributing funds to depositors and creditors as expeditiously as possible.
Steps in the Liquidation Process
The Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Act provides a timeline for the Liquidator to take certain actions with respect to the determination of claims and the distribution of funds. The Liquidator must adhere to the following timelines:
1. Publish or deliver a Notice for Filing a Claim within 60 days of appointment of Liquidator (by 11th June, 2019).
2. Allow 60 days after the Notice for depositors and creditors to file a claim (by 11th August, 2019).
3. Within 90 days of the deadline for the filing a claim (by 11 November, 2019):
(a) Determine claims;
(b) Notify each person whose claim is allowed in full.
(c) Prepare a Schedule of Proposed Actions;
(d) Publish a notice of the date and place the Schedule of Proposed Actions will be available.
4. File a Schedule of Proposed Actions to be taken for the winding-up of Atlantic International Bank Limited with the Central Bank of Belize (any time after 11 December, 2019). The Schedule is a document prepared by the Liquidator which is submitted to the Central Bank and also made available for inspection by depositors, other creditors and shareholders. It outlines steps involved in the liquidation process and states how the Liquidator plans to complete the liquidation of Atlantic International Bank Limited. Any depositor or other creditor or interested party may object to any action proposed by the Liquidator in the Schedule.
5. Notify of the deadline for depositors and creditors to make objection to the Schedule of Proposed Actions to the Central Bank of Belize (within 21 days of the filing of the Schedule).
6. Commence distribution to claimants whose claims have been allowed.
Current Status and Next Steps
The Liquidator thanks all those depositors and creditors who filed claims within the stipulated deadline of 11th August, 2019 (Step 2, above). The Liquidation Team continues the review process of these claims and the Liquidator will provide written notification to all claimants on the determination of their claims, by 11th November, 2019 (Step 3, above).
The Liquidator has also commenced the disposal process for assets held by Atlantic International Bank Limited. These include fixed assets, the majority of which have already been disposed of via public auction, and for which the Liquidator has successfully realised targeted values. The assets of the bank also include the loan portfolio for which a transparent sales process has commenced.
The Liquidator will be issuing another update shortly on the status of the US Federal Trade Commission’s suit against Atlantic International Bank Limited and its likely impact on the liquidation process.
Further updates and communication
The Liquidator will continue to provide periodic updates and publish public notices on the liquidation process of Atlantic International Bank Limited. All updates are available at the following website: www.
You may continue to contact the Liquidator directly by email at email@example.com.
June 08, 2019 – AIBL Update
Dear AIBL Client –
Please contact us if you would like assistance with a claim.
The Wrobel & Co. Team
Timeline of Upcoming Events
- 11 June 2019 – Claims will begin to be accepted by the liquidator.
- 9 August 2019 – Last day claims will be accepted
- early November 2019 – Determine claims; Prepare a schedule of proposed actions; and notify each person whose claim is allowed in full
- early December 2019 – File a schedule of proposed actions to be taken for the winding-up of Atlantic International Bank Limited with the Central Bank of Belize and commence partial distribution
- 1 January 2020 – Note deadline for creditors to make objection to schedule of proposed actions to the Central Bank of Belize
- Click here for the Notice for Filing Claims.
- Click here for the General Instructions to file a claim.
- Click here for Claim Form 1.
- Click here for Claim Form 2.
The official liquidation website: https://www.atlanticinternationalbanklimitedinliquidation.com
Priority of Claims
62.-(1) The following unsecured claims have priority against the general assets of a licensee being compulsorily wound-up under this Act, namely- (a) firstly, the necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the Central Bank or Statutory Administrator in carrying out its or his functions under this Act; (b) secondly, the wages and salaries of the officers and employees of the licensee that accrued during the three months immediately preceding the seizure of the licensee under this Act; (c) thirdly, all taxes due and other imposts owing to the Government of Belize; (d) fourthly, the fees, debts and assessments owing to the Central Bank; (e) fifthly, all deposits in amounts not exceeding five thousand dollars per depositor, respectively; (f) sixthly, all other deposits; and Distributions. Priority of unsecured claims. THE SUBSTANTIVE LAWS OF BELIZE REVISED EDITION 2000 Printed by the Government Printer, No. 1 Power Lane, Belmopan, by the authority of the Government of Belize. Banks and Financial Institutions [CAP. 263 [ ] 75 (g) seventhly, all other unsecured claims of creditors.
Most Recent Correspondence from the Liquidator
In accordance with sections 107(4) of the Domestic Banks and Financial Institutions Act, 2012 which applies to an international bank by virtue of section 38 of the International Banking Act and section 10 of the Interpretation Act, please find enclosed an important notice to all depositors, creditors and lessees of Atlantic International Bank Limited regarding the filing of claims with the Liquidator for Atlantic International Bank Limited.
Please read the general instructions carefully, thoroughly complete the enclosed claim forms, and forward along with required supporting documents to the following email address:
All claims must be sent to that email address. Failure to complete the forms properly may result in a delay in the processing of your claim.
Liquidator – Atlantic International Bank Ltd.
April 04, 2019 – AIBL Update
Atlantic International Bank Limited: Status and Next Steps
Dear AIBL Client,
Atlantic International Bank Limited (AIBL) has not issued any official notices to date confirming the reports that it is winding up its business, but unofficially we have received some confirmation of the same from our bankers. We are advised that the bank continues to operate and will process international wire transfers for account holders wishing to transfer funds from their account to a foreign account. However, this will be on a first come first serve basis, and wires will be sent out in the order received. AIBL is currently awaiting Central Bank approval for those wires (as described below for voluntary winding up) and will begin sending these out as soon as approval is received.
Reading in between the lines, it appears that AIBL is likely applying for approval from the Central Bank for voluntary winding up. This why we cannot expect any official statement from AIBL at the moment.
The process for winding up an International Bank is provided for in Part VI of the Banks and Financial Institutions Act, Chapter 263 of the Laws of Belize. Winding up will either be voluntary or compulsory depending on whether the bank is solvent or insolvent, and the bank will seek Central Bank approval for the same. According to Section 40 of the Act, if the Central Bank approves a voluntary winding-up of the bank, AIBL would then “(a) cease operations, retain only necessary staff and exercise it’s powers only of effect an orderly liquidation and (b) repay its depositors and creditors. Within 30 days of approval by Central Bank of the voluntary winding up, AIBL is required to provide a notice to depositors and to publish the same in the Government Gazette as well as post notices at all branch offices. At this point, depositors and creditors would file a claim with AIBL and the time frame for repayment of depositors would be set by the Central Bank. The voluntary winding up process appears fairly straightforward and depositors and creditors of the bank are made a priority. No other distribution can be made from the assets of the bank until all claims of depositors and creditors are paid.
However, even where the process starts out as voluntary, if the Central Bank determines that AIBL is insolvent, then it is required to initiate the compulsory winding up process through the courts. Under Section 45 of the Act, the Central Bank may seize control of AIBL in six situations largely having to do with the projected inability of the bank to meet its obligations. Within 30 days after a seizure by Central Bank, it must institute proceedings in the Supreme Court for the compulsory winding up of AIBL.
The time frame for compulsory winding up is protracted, which includes several notice periods, and priority of payment appears to be different than in a voluntary winding-up. The ultimate decision to compulsorily wind up the bank would be taken by the Supreme Court if it make a determination that conditions for a voluntary winding up do not exist. Where the Court decides that the bank shall but compulsorily wound up, depositors, creditors and those with safety deposit boxes are to receive a statement of account within 60 days thereof. Any objections to the statement of account must be filed within 60 days after receipt of said statement. There is another 90-day period after the last day stated for filing of claims against the bank. A schedule of actions to be taken in winding up the bank is subsequently filed, and notice of and location for the inspection of the schedule of actions is published for three weeks. There is also a period for objections to be filed in respect of the proposed distribution which would only begin “as soon as practicable” after all objections have been heard and determined.
According to Section 62 of the Act, priority of payment in a compulsory winding up is as follows:
- (a) firstly, the necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by the Central Bank or Statutory Administrator in carrying out its or his functions under the Act;
- (b) secondly, the wages and salaries of the officers and employees of the licensee that accrued during the three months immediately preceding the seizure of the licensee under this Act;
- (c) thirdly, all taxes due and other imposts owing to the Government of Belize;
- (d) fourthly, the fees, debts and assessments owing to the Central Bank;
- (e) fifthly, all deposits in amounts not exceeding five thousand dollars per depositor, respectively;
- (f) sixthly, all other deposits; and
- (g) seventhly, all other unsecured claims of creditors.
Unfortunately, a compulsory winding up process appears lengthy, and therefore we hope that AIBL is able to wind up its affairs voluntarily. The steps taken so far to allow wire transfers indicate that AIBL is currently on a voluntary winding up path, and as a customer of AIBL, we eagerly await confirmation of the same.
Wrobel & Co., Attorneys-at-Law in Belize Staff