The collapse of Choice Bank, an obscure entity in Belize, went largely unnoticed in 2018.

But Americans were among the uninsured depositors filing claims in its failure, totaling $100 million. Some said they were startled to learn that their money was trapped in a small bank in Central America. They thought they were doing business with a U.S.-based company called Payoneer.

“Losing out on money that I’m not expecting to lose is very upsetting, even still,” said Mara O’Halloran, a Pennsylvania mother of two who said she is out thousands of dollars as a Choice Bank depositor.

Not everyone was shocked by the Choice Bank collapse. Years before, an array of banks were raising questions to regulators about its practices. In 2014, for example, Bank of America characterized Choice Bank as “an issuer of prepaid cards for program managers with inherently high risk.”

That and other warnings about Choice

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