Assessing the Impact of the De-risking on Remittances and Trade Finance in Belize

Since 2015, Belize has experienced de-­risking, the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships. The impact on the banking sector and other financial institutions has been adverse, with repercussions also for the personal and commercial activities of clients. This study contributes to the policy discussion and ongoing efforts to address this challenge. While fully quantifying the cost of de-­ risking has not been possible, this study nevertheless describes the various effects of the withdrawal of correspondent banking relationships, and identifies the increase in transactional costs as the most significant impact to date. Key observations include the narrowing of wire transfers, the increase in direct costs to send and receive funds electronically, and the continued vulnerability of newly established correspondent banking relations, in certain cases.