12 Jan

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries

Heritage Bank & Hand In Hand Ministries - Partner to build home for deserving citizen!

“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing anything for anybody.” We have always prided ourselves in giving back to our community through various means but this year our approach was a bit different, it was more special and life changing. The Bank, through the assistance of the Hand in Hand Ministries, agreed to finance and construct a new home for a deserving person from the community. Effective March 13th, 2017, every staff member began contributing $1.00 per pay period towards this most worthy cause which was matched by the Bank.

The time had finally arrived, October 6th - 8th 2017, for our staff to build their first home while being the 331st for Hand In Hand. Day 1 commenced with the preparation of the footing the house would rest on and the construction of the wooden walls for the house. Day 2 saw the completion of the floor, the wall, painting and the assembling of the walls for the house. In day 3 the roof was completed, doors & windows were installed and the additional works to complete the project. The work was very labor intensive, especially for our banking team who are accustomed to working behind their desks from 8 to 5. The experience was humbling but even more gratifying seeing all parties involved, inclusive the new home owner, work with one common purpose.

In our daily routines, there is so much we take for granted. It is not until you actually see for yourself the conditions that people live in that you realize how blessed and fortunate you are. The home was built off Partridge Street where the living conditions for many are substandard, but the people don’t cry or complain. They wake up every day hoping for a better tomorrow. The Heritage family made that hope a reality for one deserving lady (chosen by Hand in Hand). Our hard work was very much appreciated as the new home owner (Ms. Jenny Pinelo) received her new home October 19, 2017.

We saw the fruits of our labor. The look on Ms. Pinelo’s face, her gratitude, her hope, her new reality, was enough for us. The team acknowledged that this is something that we should commit to do annually. I could not agree more. We are grateful to all those who committed their time and efforts in making our first “House Build” a success!

12 Jan

Orange Walk Opening

Orange Walk Opening

New HBL Office in Orange Walk Town

On August 19, 2016, the Bank celebrated another milestone to its 2016 successes being the Inaugural Ceremonies for the newly built Orange Walk Branch. The ceremonies began slightly after 3pm and the guests were delighted by The Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Luis Pook who did a splendid job in both English and Spanish. Cultural presentations were prepared by the ‘Saasil Ja’ Group of Yo Creek, a Mestizo Children’s Dance Group. We were graced in prayer by Rev. Edwin Orosco from La Inmaculada Roman Catholic Parish. Special Guest Speaker was none other than, Mayor of Orange Walk Town, Mr. Kevin Bernard and also seated at the Head Table, was our Managing Director, Mr. Duncan. Welcome address was given by Orange Walk Branch Manager, Mrs. Yasmira Espadas and the Vote of Thanks was given by Branch Supervisor, Mr. Arnel Caceres. The guest list included customers, community members, HBL directors and staff. After the ceremonies, the balloons were lifted in the air and champagne was popped in celebration. A light snack was served and everyone enjoyed the company of the customers and other members of the team on such a memorable occasion. We take this opportunity once again to thank the Directors for trusting in the Orange Walk Community, Mr. Anthony Thurton (the architect), Mr. Hugh Crawford (the contractor) and his team for such a beautiful structure that now captures the attention of all.

12 Jan

FCIB Acquisition

FCIB Acquisition

Heritage Bank Successfully Undertakes Historic Acquisition!

Albert Street

In 2015 when the Heritage Bank team members were working diligently towards annual goals and objectives, there was a change being undertaken by CIBC First Caribbean Bank. The Directors of that institution made a decision to wrap up their business services in Belize. This decision meant that other Banks in Belize would have the opportunity to purchase the assets of the CIBCFCIB Belize business. When this opportunity arose, it was with foresight of the potential benefits that our Managing Director made every effort to ensure that Heritage Bank was in contention to bid for the assets of CIBCFCIB in Belize. It was through determination and sheer will that the Managing Director led the effort that eventually materialized into Heritage Bank being the Bank left standing to reap the benefits of the CIBCFCIB Belize acquisition.

The work to transform an acquisition into a transition of assets was no easy feat and proved to be a humbling experience. However, the Heritage Bank team members were up to the task and rose to the challenge. After a few false starts and delays, all teams mobilized and ensured they were ready to do their part. Operations & IT worked weekends and late nights to prepare for the transition. Throughout the transition, there were countless hours spent organizing, preparing cards for delivery, cleaning data, addressing customer concerns and a host of other related tasks. The instantaneous growth in customer-related activities led to a new team being added. The BPC, Business Processing Center, mobilized quickly and took on these activities successfully.

The toll of extra work and late hours showed on the faces of team members but everyone kept pace with the changes and were determined to make the transition a success. The overwhelming feeling that we were about to accomplish something that had never been done before in Belize kept everyone focused throughout the late nights. We were making history in our daily efforts. A small local Bank was in the trenches taking over the assets of a larger, International Bank. This had never before happened in Belize, and may not happen again in the near future, and the Heritage Bank team wanted to make its mark.

Belmopan & Orange Walk

Post transition, the changes continue throughout the Bank. The benefits of the acquisition are beginning to bear fruit. The hard and diligent work by the staff has not gone unnoticed. There are new opportunities opening up for promotions, cross training and wider growth. There are numerous new team members who have joined the Heritage Bank family in the city and at district branches and we welcome them to the team. The Bank has seen overnight growth in its customer base with over 7000 new deposit accounts and over 4000 new lending accounts being added from the acquisition, doubling the Balance Sheet over one weekend. Through all the disruption and challenges, the bottom line shows that at least 99% of the transitioned customers have been successfully integrated into the Bank’s services.

Under the tutelage of our Managing Director and Board of Directors, we continue to streamline our new responsibilities. The workload is still high for many, some have adapted well and some continue to work through the challenges but all have embraced the new reality of Heritage Bank which can no longer be referred to as a small local Bank. From inception to implementation to completion, the transition proved to be an undertaking of David and Goliath proportions. We were out of our comfort zone but we grew, we thrived, we learned, we endured and now we can move forward knowing that Heritage Bank is stronger and more agile to take on new challenges.

It is with gratitude and warm hearts that we thank all those who did their part in making this historic transition a resounding success. As we go through our busy day, it is easy to overlook our successes and accomplishments. Let us all be sure to look back and appreciate where we were just a few months ago and then look around you and appreciate where we are now. We are standing on a more solid foundation that will take the team into a more successful future at Heritage Bank.

12 Jan

Musical Instrument Hand Over

Handing Over Ceremony of Musical Instruments

Heritage Gives Back to the community!
Friday, June 12th 2015 at 1:30 p.m. was a special occasion not only for the students of St. Luke Methodist School, but also for Heritage Bank, who demonstrated its corporate social responsibility in a meaningful way. Through the ‘Music in Schools Program', a well established initiative of the Governor General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young since 1993 and which benefits over 100 schools and youth groups in Belize, Heritage Bank donated Wind Instruments (3 Trumpets, 2 Trombones and 1 French Horn) to St. Luke’s Purple Spirit Marching Band.
The handing over ceremony was held at St. Luke’s Methodist Church where the beneficiaries of the gifts, the students, were in attendance. The children were all enthusiastic and excited to see the shiny new instruments most wishing to get their hands on them to bring them to life with the melodious sounds that they demonstrate year after year in the Love FM Band Fest, Love FM Christmas parade, Methodist Youth Conference parade, Child Stimulation Month parade for preschools and other functions.
Our Managing Director delivered the Remarks, pointing out that St. Luke Methodist School has benefited from Music In School Program and is a good example of what is possible with limited resources but committed leadership. After 3 years of 3rd place finishes the School won the prestigious 1st place in Band Fest Competition in 2007. Since then it won 1st place in Drumline Competition every year except 2011 when the band did not compete. This year 2015 the band placed 2nd in the Drum Core Competition.
St. Luke takes their music program very seriously and it is for that reason Heritage is very proud to provide the additional instruments to expand their music program while helping those who might be less fortunate.
It was a compact Agenda with Reverend C. David Goff, OBE and Superintendent Wesley Circuit who gave the Opening Prayer and blessed all in attendance. The symbolic Handing Over Ceremony was delivered by Mr. Duncan, His Excellency, the Principal of St. Luke, Mrs. Bodden and the Purple Spirit Marching Band Manager, Mrs. Wade. Reverend C. Bernard Duncan gave the Closing Prayer. The ceremony concluded with two performances from the Purple Spirit Marching Band.
12 Jan

Spelling Bee

B&B National Spelling Bee - "Championing Academic Excellence"

Heritage Bank was a Proud Gold Sponsor of this event and is happy to demonstrate its Corporate Social Responsibility by supporting this popular educational initiative. Five Thousand Dollars, personalized Heritage Gift Cards and Gift Bags were donated as prizes!
For twenty-three years Bowen & Bowen, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, has sponsored the National Spelling Bee in Belize. The Bee has given over twelve thousand students from all over Belize a chance to have their academic excellence honored.
11 Jan

Youths Summer Program

"Heritage Builds Up Our Youths" Summer Program 2016

In Summer 2016, Heritage Bank championed a life skill educational program, an initiative of Eastern Division South headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chester Williams, in order to find a positive alternative for our youths during the summer vacation.

The program catered for 50 in and out of school youths between the ages of 10 to 17 years from Southside Belize City and ran for three cycles during the summer holidays. The first fold of activities, called “Life Tour” gave the youths an appreciation of what one goes through when involved in crime and violence.

The youths were taken to different hot spots within the city then transported to the Police station and taken to the court, the prison and thereafter to the cemetery. The second fold of the program, “Knowing Your Country”, gave the youths an opportunity to visit four corners of our jewel highlighting its history and diversity, an alternative to the crime life. The youths

also had the opportunity to have some of the athletes from Eastern Division South participating with them in order to show that one can opt and rise to a different life- style than what they know. In the North, the youths were taken to Lamanai and Blue Creek. To the West they were introduced to the border, taken to Xunantunich and the Iguana Farm in San Ignacio with a city tour of Belmopan. In the South they saw the Culture Capital, Dangriga, and they visited Placencia & Seine Bight stop- ping at different archaeological sites in the immediate vicinity.

Heritage is pleased to have partnered with the police in sponsoring $5,000 to this initiative, which is part of a wider program, Southside Youth Services Project, aimed at giving at risk youths a pathway to employment or back into formal education.