General — 25 May 2019 — by Rowland A. Parks
Choice Bank withdraws its lawsuit against Prime Minister and Central Bank

BELIZE CITY, Wed. May 22, 2019– Choice Bank Limited and its parent company, Choice Group Holdings, LLC, had filed a lawsuit last August against the Belize Central Bank; Prime Minister Dean O. Barrow, in his capacity as Minister of Finance; and Attorney General, Hon. Michael Peyrefitte.

Choice Bank was seeking compensatory damages from Prime Minister Barrow and the Central Bank of Belize for the premature termination of Choice Bank’s operating license for offshore banking, making the bank lose business.

In addition, Choice Bank was also seeking a declaration from the court that the defendants acted contrary to their statutory duties.

Choice Bank was seeking substantial damages from the court for the alleged breaches by the Minister of Finance and the Belize Central Bank. The hearing was being held before Supreme Court Justice Courtenay Abel.

Yesterday, however, Choice Bank withdrew its claim against Prime Minister Barrow, the Belize Central Bank and the Attorney General, after the court ordered a valuation of the bank by an independent party.

 The independent valuation of Choice Bank confirmed that it was in real difficulties and most likely would have folded. Government, the valuation said, had done the prudent thing when it terminated the bank’s operating license.

Following the valuation report from the independent party, Choice Bank’s shareholders decided to drop the court claim. The two sides to the lawsuit signed a necessary consent order before Justice Abel, bringing the case to an end.

Attorney Eamon Courtenay, S.C., represented Choice Bank, but declined to offer any comment to the media when he was asked for one.

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