For example a farmers credit union offers loans without collateral requirement

For example a farmers credit union offers loans

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credit unions have been innovating to better address them. For example , a farmer’s credit union offers loans without collateral requirement, while a couple of other credit unions have been developing innovative products for farmers. For some agricultural sectors (e.g. sugar cane, citrus, and banana plantations), some financial institutions conduct invoice factoring. According to anecdotal evidence, interest rates for agricultural loans can reach around 20 percent. DFC lends to farmers at market rate with the Green Climate Fund providing subsidies to cover the climate risk. Microcredit or microlending is not consistently defined nor regulated, leading to greater risk portfolios and potential discouragement for financial institutions to develop and increase the provision of these products through the adoption of a risk-based approach. 5.5.6. Pensions and Insurance Through a network of 100 agents and eight corporate agents (banks and credit unions), insurance companies offer an adequate range of products, including life, credit life, property 40 , and motor insurance products 41 . Constituted by nine companies (three life insurance companies, four general insurance companies, and two composites), total assets of the insurance sector were estimated at 5.3 percent of the total for the financial system in 2018. Domestic insurance companies offer an adequate range of products but efforts to develop agricultural insurance and microinsurance are nascent. With the support of international agencies, the OSIPP and some insurance companies explored the development of agricultural insurance and microinsurance products. Recently, two microinsurance products including housing and hospitalization products have been approved. The Social Security Board (SSB) manages Belize’s Social Security Fund and the National Health Insurance (NHI) 42 . With BZD 522 million in assets in 2016, SSB had more than 106,000 contributors for the country’s pension scheme. Under the purview of the Ministry of Finance, the SSB is responsible for different social benefits to the population (pension, sickness, maternity, funeral, disability, survivor, death and invalidity benefits), which are mostly disbursed to beneficiaries through direct deposit directly to beneficiaries’ bank or credit union accounts 43 . Roughly, 322,000 individuals (87.5 percent of the population) were registered with SSB and had a valid social security card, which is one of the identity cards accepted by financial institutions. 39 Beltraide’s Belize MSME Policy and Strategy Report provide a national MSME definition; yet, no financial providers seem to be adopting it. Report available at 40 Some property insurance products include protection against hurricane damages. 41 Compulsory insurance includes motor third party liability, professional indemnity insurance for insurance brokers and agents.
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  • Spring '17
  • Romaldo Lewis

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