20 Jul

Heritage Bank Ltd Celebrates its 20th Anniversary in 2021

To commemorate and celebrate its 20th Anniversary, Heritage Bank Ltd has promised to undertake a very generous gesture. The Board and Executive Management have decided to focus on an area of great need in the country – that of Housing.

For the past 4 years the Bank has collaborated with Hand in Hand Ministries to fund and build one home every year for a deserving family.  This year instead of building one home, the Bank is partnering with Hand in Hand Ministries to build homes for deserving customers of Heritage Bank up to a value of $20,000.00 each.  This is in line with the number of years the bank is in existence. In 2021, the Bank promises to build 12 homes – one per month.

We welcome applications from customers countrywide to be a part of this great initiative.  Interested customers may apply to become a new homeowner.   The Application Form is readily available on the bank’s website and at any Heritage Bank countrywide. Completed applications may be submitted to any Heritage Bank branch or by email to hr@banking.bz

The Bank got off to a running start in February with the Blessing and Handing Over of the 1st of 12 homes which we have committed to provide to 12 deserving customers in 2021.

The Bank staff in collaboration with Hand in Hand Ministries, the recipients’ family members and willing volunteers started construction on Wednesday, February 17th, and worked diligently to complete the house by Wednesday, February 24th, following all Covid protocols.

Mr James Witty, Ms. Keyannie Lino, and their 3 children are the very appreciative recipients of the 1st home.  Following a short House Blessing Ceremony, with all partners present, the keys to the home were handed over to the family. In Ms Keyannie’s own words, “a big thank you from deep, deep down.  Thank you Heritage Bank, we really and truly appreciate this, it is beyond words… thank you.

Since the first home was built in February 2021, Heritage Bank Ltd in collaboration with Hand in Hand Ministries has constructed 5 more homes for deserving families!  Unity, the state of being united or joined as a whole, was displayed at each House Build and although 6 homes have now been built for the year, the exuberant atmosphere is still alive as though it were the 1st home being built.

The 2nd House Build for the year was in Pomona Village, Stann Creek, for Mr. Michael Acosta. The House Blessing took place on March 24th and as usual, it was an unforgettable and touching experience handing over the keys to the new homeowner.  Mr. Acosta, along with his wife and 2 kids, accepted the home with gratitude and humility.

28 days later, we embarked on the 3rd House Build for 2021 in San Ignacio, Cayo. The recipient, Ms. Monica Quiroz, was sparkling with her positive attitude and appreciation as the Branch Manager handed her the keys to her new home! As s. Quiroz said,” I am still in shock. Thank you Heritage Bank and Hand in Hand Ministries for my loving home.”

May 4th was a day of Blessings for Ms. Priscilla Peters and her Mom, as they were the recipients of the 4th home.  The House Build started on April 28th in Dangriga and was completed on May 2nd.  Ms. Peters had tears of joy and couldn’t put into words how great she felt to be blessed with a new home! The Heritage Bank staff, along with Hand in Hand couldn’t help but join Ms. Peters in this very heartwarming experience. As Henri Nouwen once said,” Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”

Shortly after, on May 19th, we proceeded to the 2nd House Build in the Belize District, and 5th House Build overall. Ms. Ruth Camal, the recipient of this home, wasn’t hesitant to express how much she will cherish this opportunity. Ms. Camal, a mother of 3, was working passionately on her home along with her loving family. They supported one another and as Ms. Camal stated, “I cannot wait to move into my home and have my furniture and be with my family!”

June 16th saw the House Build for Ms. Marleny Mai in Orange Walk.  Ms Mai and her two children were the proud recipients of the 6th home constructed. Heritage Bank Ltd along with Hand in Hand Ministries once again were at the House Blessing to share in the joyful occasion.  “Great satisfaction comes from sharing with others” – Unknown. Indeed, everyone had great satisfaction as we saw how happy Ms. Mai and her family were to receive the keys for their home.

In the coming months the construction of another six homes will come to fruition for another six deserving families.  As we progress with this great initiative we extend heartfelt thanks to the staff of Heritage Bank, Hand in Hand Ministries, all family members and volunteers who assisted in the construction of the homes.

“Where there is unity, there is always victory” – Publilius Syrus

27 Nov

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries 2020

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries 2020

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

On this occasion, we can't help but recall a verse from the Book of Mathew 22:37-39: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first commandment and the second is Love your neighbor as yourself."

So when Jesus tells the Pharisees they need to love their neighbors as they would love themselves, God is asking us to look at the person next to us and see beyond the obvious and superficial differences. We are challenged to look at a stranger and recognize we are both the same; sharing the same ambitions and needs in life.

As mother Theresa said, "Love is not patronizing and charity isn't about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same." It is for this reason that we are truly grateful for being a part of this experience and humbled to give back to our community in this special way.

This is the 4th house that Heritage Bank in collaboration with Hand in Hand Ministries have funded and built. We at Heritage see this as something truly special and we will continue to champion this program. It is actions like these that we believe are creating a community and allowing us to connect with each other on the same level.

Contributed by: Laurelann Moore, Human Resources Support

 

 

 

30 Oct

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries 2019

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries 2019

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

"If everyone helps to hold up the sky, then one person does not become tired." - Askhari Johnson Hodari. As we read this quote, we instantly reflected on this year's house build with Hand in Hand Ministries. Building a house seemed farfetched as it is a very tedious and time consuming project. However, with team work and determination, the HBL and Hand in Hand Ministries crew completed it in 3 days.

The House Build started in the afternoon of October 9th and finished on October 11th. The first day was the most important day because we had to set the walls together and ensure it was levelled perfectly. The second and third day is when all the details like installing the windows and doors, the roof, and the paint job was completed. Ms. Smith and her family assisted in any way possible and it was amazing to get to know her and help to build her home at the same time.

This was a heartwarming and unforgettable experience. It definitely instilled gratitude and humility in everybody that contributed to Ms. Smith's home. At the start of the House Build, we had no experience in building a house. However, we felt extremely knowledgeable after completing this project thanks to the Hand in Hand Ministries. Majority of us felt little to no fatigue in the end because we kept a positive mindset and completed the task with passion and love. Seeing Ms. Smith's tears of joy almost brought tears to our eyes as well because we felt like one big family. As Bob Marley once said, "One love!".

Contributed by: David Sabido, Administration Support

 

 

 

29 Oct

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries

HBL & Hand In Hand Ministries

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

This year marked the second time around that Heritage Bank has teamed up with Hand in Hand Ministries to ‘Lend a Hand and Change a Life,’ and we are honored to have helped them built the 360th home for a deserving family. NGO’s such as Hand in Hand Ministries can’t do it alone therefore it was our honor to once again be a part of this endeavor. To make this a success each payday our staff members committed to giving a dollar towards this initiative and the bank matches the remaining cost of the house.

Mahatma Gandhi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day routine of work and our social life that we often take things that we have for granted. Giving back to the community was an eye opener to many of our staff members because it made us much more appreciative of what we have. It also gave us the opportunity to see a part of the community that many of us don’t get to see very often.

I was a bit skeptical about how we could even finish an entire house within three days, but we did it, because we knew we had a job to get done and we were determined to finish within the expected timeframe. On the second day the manual labor started to take a toll on most of our bodies and that’s when most of us started to say how grateful we were for our office job. Mr. Ferguson and his family were there every day and helped in whichever way they could have. Despite being confined to a wheelchair Mr. Ferguson tried to be around all the action, and if he could have gotten up to help he would have.

I knew we all felt a great sense of gratitude as we saw the house come together and we knew that we had played a vital role in building it. Mr. Ferguson’s wife kept saying “this is not a house, but a mansion.” Indeed, it was just a house to many of us but to her and her family it was a mansion. After three days of hard work the smiles on their faces were all that mattered to us. We had not only built a home for a deserving family, but we developed a bond and gained another family. The Heritage Family is growing and as long as we are fortunate we will continue to give back to the community because the biggest reward is realizing that we’ve made a significant change in someone’s life.

Contributed by: Cherrange Velasquez, Human Resources Support

 

 

 

25 Jul

Heritage Opens Sub-branch in Ladyville!

Heritage Opens Sub-branch in Ladyville!

Heritage Opens Sub-branch in Ladyville!

Wednesday July 17th, 2019 marked a momentous occasion as Heritage Bank celebrated the Official Inauguration of its 3rd Branch in the Belize District, centrally located at Mile 9 Philip Goldson Highway. This represents the 12th branch office for Heritage Bank country-wide and in the words of the Branch Manager, Mrs. Shanna Ciego, “while for some we may be still seen as the baby of the bunch, we are certainly demonstrating that we have the knock-out punch”! The Ladyville community has experienced a significant population growth spurt over the last decade and is now home to a robust business community. The opening of this office, along with the now 3 ATMS within a one-mile radius, will together offer greater convenience and accessibility to the residents and businesses of Ladyville and the surrounding communities, while contributing to their social and economic development.

Tremendous strides have been made in technological advancement in Belize and this new digital era provides, without a doubt, numerous opportunities for businesses and banking across the country . As one of the early pioneers of electronic banking in areas such as, cell phone banking using SMS text messages, prepaid cards gift cards and more recently, e-loans, Heritage Bank continues to enhance its digital platform which allows you to conduct banking in real time. As you enjoy the convenience of anytime, anywhere from digital services, we recognize that you also value face-to-face client services at our branches. To this end, we will continue to strengthen and expand the amalgamation of our digital platform with our physical branches to deliver what is coined as “Phygital Banking” services to you. The Bank’s Chief Risk Officer, Dr. Philippa Duncan spelt out our own approach to this new phenomenon: Heritage Bank’s “Phygital Model” exemplifies our commitment to realizing our Vision to become the Premier Financial Institution by enabling inclusivity and greater reach of our services in all geographic locations and among all age groups in Belize.

This sentiment of financial inclusion was further encapsulated by the Guest Speaker and Area Representative, Honorable Beverly Williams, who stated that “accessibility is an integral facet to financial inclusion”. She continued “with this branch residents of Ladyville and the surrounding communities are now able to easily access financial services, without having to travel long distances”.

Our Staff stands committed and ready to support the array of economic activities and diverse needs from you — the residents & business operators at Ladyville, Lords Bank, Los Lagos, Burrell Boom and the greater Belize District. We look forward to serving you via our digital channels or in-person at any of our twelve branch offices.

25 Jul

Heritage Opens Office in Spanish Lookout!

Heritage Opens Office in Spanish Lookout!

Heritage Opens Office in Spanish Lookout!

Heritage Bank held the inauguration ceremony for its Spanish Lookout Office on Wednesday, January 16th, 2019. The opening comes after months of discussion and collaboration between the Spanish Lookout Community and Heritage Bank. Those discussions were very fruitful and make us feel that we have the right chemistry with which to build a long-term relationship.

As a bank that is very keen on delivering good customer service, the chemistry is very important to us and it played a big role in our decision to proceed with this branch. The entrepreneurial spirit coupled with respect, professionalism and the strong desire to innovate, which we have noticed, reflect values that we ourselves espouse and strongly adhere to as enshrined in the Bank’s set of Core Values. It is therefore an honor for us to have been considered when the Community was faced with identifying a banking operation to serve its residents and those of surrounding communities. Spanish Lookout Community exemplifies what is possible with hard-work. It is an important part of our agricultural sector and plays a critical role in the country’s food supply. We fully embrace the agricultural base of its economy and are happy to support its continued contribution to the productive sector of our country

Exactly 18 years ago in January 2001 Heritage Bank (then Alliance Bank) was established and it is truly symbolic to us that in this month of our anniversary, we are able to open this office here in Spanish Lookout to further expand our footprint in the country. This brings the number of offices to 11 countrywide

Over almost two decades of existence, Heritage Bank has demonstrated to its customers and the Belizean community that it truly is The Bank That Gives You More. Very importantly, we have demonstrated that we are prepared to go even to those areas where no other banking concern wishes to venture. For us, Belize is our only market and our Staff stands with great pride in continuing to work towards our vision of being the Premier Financial Services Institution in the country. We fully recognize that being in a business where the products are so easily duplicated, the difference-maker becomes the service that we deliver. It is understood that the delivery of customer service is not limited to the physical buildings and the reasonable expectation of our customers is that we will take advantage of technology. Last year, we expanded our electronic channels to offer customer service support through our secure and convenient Live Chat portal. This has already proven to be a very useful channel for our customers. We have just recently expanded our online services to include E-Loans, whereby you can apply for personal loans and residential mortgage loans online from the convenience of your homes or offices.

19 Jul

Heritage Opens Office in Santa Elena Town!

Heritage Opens Office in Santa Elena Town!

Heritage Opens Office in Santa Elena Town!

Heritage Bank held the inauguration ceremony for its new Santa Elena Office on Wednesday July 11th, 2018. The opening of this office in Santa Elena is a clear demonstration of Heritage Bank’s continuing commitment as a partner in the economic and financial development of all corners of Belize, particularly in the Cayo District.

Our commitment to the development of Western Belize and its residents began in 2005, just over four years after receiving our license to conduct banking in Belize. We planted roots in Belmopan City on the 26th November 2005; four years later we established a branch in San Ignacio Town on the 5th of January 2009. Two years later on the 1st of December 2011, we cemented our presence as the First bank in the town of Benque Viejo Del Carmen. Today we are very happy to continue delivering on our commitment in extending our footprint to you – the First Bank to establish a full time operation in Santa Elena Town. We are pleased to share with you that Heritage is proving to be the vehicle of change in the lives of Belizeans all over the country, as it adopts innovative delivery channels and products to provide affordable and accessible banking services to you.

Our staff stands with great pride in actualizing our mission aimed at encouraging the growth of local businesses and building Belize; by offering personalized and friendly customer service; and by providing easy transaction processing through our multiple delivery channels including ten convenient branches, 40 ATM locations countrywide, a Business Processing Center, a user-friendly E-banking platform and a reliable live chat service.

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.