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However, moneychangers often give a slightly higher rate than 2 Belize for 1 U. That brings us to a key fact about Belize and your money: Hard currencies, like the U.

Soft currencies, and the Belize dollar is one of them, are not so good. The Belize dollar is difficult to exchange anywhere outside of Belize except at border areas of Guatemala and Mexico.

For years there has been talk of dollarizing the Belize economy, making the U.

Money banking

There are several possible reasons. For one, the Belize government is reluctant to do away with its Central Bank and surrender so much of its financial control to Uncle Sam.

Technically, according to Belize law, only the Central Bank of Belize is permitted to deal in foreign currencies including the U. But this rule is widely, almost universally, flaunted in Belize, and businesses routinely take U.

In any event, U. Paper-money Belize denominations are the, 5- and 2-dollar bills. Belize coins come in 1-dollar, 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 Belizean cent units.

The cent piece is called a shilling.

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Currency Exchange Regulations The U. Embassy in Belize provides this summary of currency regulations in Belize: In order to pay for goods and services procured outside of Belize in a foreign currency, a foreign exchange permit must be obtained from an authorized dealer or directly from the Central Bank of Belize.

The permission of the Central Bank of Belize is also required to secure a loan from outside Belize that involves a foreign currency, and also to service repayment of foreign debt.

Officially, no person, other than authorized dealers and authorized depositories, may retain any foreign currency in their possession without the consent of the Central Bank of Belize. In practice, however, many local businesses accept payment in U.

Foreign exchange controls can be summarized by the following rules and guidelines: Residents and non-residents need permission to buy foreign currency for whatever purpose; Authorized dealers i.

They may also authorize payments for imports against copies of invoices and customs entries, where the documents show that the goods were obtained on credit; Belizean residents, who wish to borrow abroad and where debt service will be in hard currencies, must apply to the Central Bank of Belize for permission to do so.

Banks and Banking in Belize Belize has five commercial banks, not including offshore banks. The local banks are small, about the size of a small-town local bank or savings and loan in the U. Belize also has several credit unions and small mortgage lending institutions.

Here are the basic facts, including contact information for the main offices, about each bank in Belize: Atlantic Bank was founded in It is majority owned by Sociedad Nacional de Inversiones, S.

Atlantic Building, Freetown Road; tel. Belize Bank traces its history back to when it was founded as the Bank of British Honduras. First Caribbean International Bank formerly Barclays was formed in by the merger of the Caribbean operations of Barclays, the giant U.

Main office in Belize: Albert Street, Belize City; tel. Heritage Bank formerly Alliance Bank is the newest of the commercial banks in Belize. It formerly was associated with Glenn D.The world's largest business website, CNNMoney is CNN's exclusive business site with business, markets, technology, media, luxury, personal finance and small business news.

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Money and Banking in Belize