Local News

Jamaica National Retains Top Building Society Ranking – BOJ

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) held on to its lead as the largest building society in Jamaica, with assets of $83.7 billion at September 30, 2009, according to data from the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ).

Assets for building societies as a whole grew by 15.8 percent to $155.1 billion, compared with September 30, 2008. By comparison, assets at JNBS grew by 18.7 percent, which was faster than the overall sector growth, Earl Jarrett, General Manager at Jamaica National said.

Victoria Mutual Building Society was the second largest organization, with assets of $53.3 billion, up 12.8 percent over September 30, 2008. The BoJ data indicated that Scotia Jamaica Building Society was third, with assets of $9.1 billion; and FirstCaribbean International Building Society ranked fourth, with $9 billion.

Earl Jarrett, General Manager

Jamaica National expanded its share of the sector’s asset base in the period. From 52.6 percent of overall sector assets in the previous year, the JNBS share grew to 53.9 percent for September 30, 2009, based substantially on an increased focus on customer service, Mr. Jarrett said.

“We responded early to the economic fallout,” the General Manager explained. Pointing out that from early in 2009, efforts were made to assist members deal with the crisis, while the organization improved its sales culture and enhanced its mortgage operations.

The Society formulated a financial outreach programme which involved a series of community meetings in Kingston, Mandeville, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios during March of 2009. Additionally, Wanica Purkiss, the Mortgage and Operations Executive, said rebates were provided to reward categories of mortgagors with the best records of on-time payment.

Wanica Purkiss

A special effort was also made to assist persons facing difficulties in repaying their loans. She said borrowers were made aware that their loan repayments can generally be lowered or suspended for a period of time, and the terms altered when adequate notice is given.

The result of these measures was that, at the end of October, 2009, “Our mortgage delinquency ratio remained under 5 percent,” Mrs. Purkiss said, “with arrears amounting to $288.7 million at the end of that same month.”

While serving the needs of existing members, we were also proactive in winning new business, she stated. “And, we have substantially improved our mortgage processing system.”

The improvements include a streamlined mortgage loan process, the introduction of an electronic document management system, and the restructuring of the Loan Processing Centre. Mrs. Purkiss said, “Even as the uncertainties in the real estate landscape continue into 2010, our thrust to help members overcome challenges handling their loan repayments remains a high priority.”
The JN loan approvals process is now faster, and the flatter decision-making structure in the Loan Processing Centre adds to our overall efficiency, the Mortgage and Operations Executive said.
“We have done our best to help our members weather the ongoing economic upheaval,” Mr. Jarrett stated. “Beyond that, we continue to encourage our members and clients to see opportunities as they emerge within the context of the crisis, as this too will pass.” He maintains that saving and proper money management is critical, because they are the basic principles on which economic recovery is based.

Related Articles

Back to top button