KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica’s Minister of Finance and Planning, the Hon. Dr Peter Phillips, has granted approval for the conversion of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) to a commercial bank.
The Minister’s approval was received in a letter to the Society recently, following the organisation’s re-submission of its application in November 2013. JNBS made its first application for a commercial banking licence in 2008.
“This is a major achievement for us,” said Earl Jarrett, General Manager, JNBS. “We have come a long way since our first application seven years ago; and, we are definitely committed to repositioning JN to better serve our members,” he affirmed.
Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) will become the third largest commercial bank in Jamaica when it completes its conversion, with 12.8 per cent of the market, behind the National Commercial Bank and Scotiabank with approximately 36 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively.
Jamaica National Building Society’s (JNBS) General Manager said that the conversion was being undertaken against the background of increased demand from the Society’s members for an expanded range of credit products and services, which building societies cannot legally offer. These product and service offerings include certain types of personal loans and chequing accounts.
Mr Jarrett indicated that the ministerial approval also gives the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) the clearance to reorganise its Group, which comprise several companies offering a wide variety of financial and non-financial products and services. The reorganisation is to achieve compliance with the Banking Services Act.
However, he indicated that both the Society’s conversion and the JN Group reorganisation will need the approval of its members to move forward.
“We have, therefore, been making the necessary operational changes, which must be implemented to make the change possible; and, we are ready to reposition Jamaica National to successfully chart another 141 years as a bona fide member of the commercial banking sector,” the General Manager said.