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National Commercial Bank Jamaica (NCB) Strengths Contribute to Bank’s Profits of $10.2 billion

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCB) affirmed its position as a premier Jamaican financial institution in announcing the Bank’s net profit of $10.2 billion for the financial year ended September 30, 2009 an increase of $1.5 billion or 18% when compared to the corresponding period.

The Bank and its Subsidiaries demonstrated that in spite of the very challenging and difficult financial environment faced over the past year its continued financial strength, relevant customer focus and robust operating framework produced credible and satisfactory results.

Patrick Hylton, NCB Group Managing Director attributes the Bank’s positive outcomes for the financial year to three tenets: 1) capital strength, 2) having strong levels of liquidity and most importantly 3) having a strong governance framework. He emphasized that high importance was placed on this framework which is necessary in this current financial environment to manage risks and avoid excesses.

Mr. Hylton recognized and noted that the competences of the Bank’s management and staff also attributed to the successes of the Bank for the past financial year. He stressed “The results underscore that we have been busy building a fortress of a financial institution. A fortress, which is underpinned by strong capital; strong liquidity; strong management; a strong and robust governance; a highly motivated, highly competent and committed staff.”

Based on the latest Bank of Jamaica Commercial Banking Industry Review (June 2009) NCB had the largest market share of net loans recording a 25% growth over the prior year which exceeded the industry’s growth of 20%. The Earnings per Stock Unit of $4.16 grew by $0.62 or 18%. Most notably, the Wealth Management arm of the Bank, NCB Capital Markets, showed an increase of $1.6 Billion and NCB Insurance Company contributed a net profit of $1.7 Billion. Overall, these Business segments results represent the strategic management of customer relationships and needs and the careful management of interest rate spreads along with the Bank’s risks and costs.

The Group Chief Financial Officer, Yvonne Clarke in her presentation of the overall financial performance of the Group, stressed the major initiatives which were pivotal in maintaining the valued customer relationships namely: the Money Matters Campaign which sought to proactively encourage and work with customers in managing their debts to avoid delinquency; as well as to provide tools and options to ensure financial stability. In closing she outlined the Corporate Social Initiatives undertaken for the year which were in excess of $38.6m concentrated in education, sports and community development.

Dennis Cohen, Deputy Group Managing Director, in closing effused “We will remain nimble as we are building a sustainable institution that will take advantage of the opportunities regardless of the conditions and challenges which we face. We remain opportunistic as we continue to build on this venerable organization.” He continued, “The key tenet in our drive is Strength and our capital numbers are impressive ensuring that we are sustainable and remain committed in keeping the institution strong for all our stakeholders.”

On Thursday, November 5, 2009, the Board declared an interim dividend of $0.89 per ordinary stock unit. The dividend is payable on December 3, 2009 for stockholders on record as of November 20, 2009.

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