Business

Bankers answer the call

BY KELLARAY MILES
Business reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

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With the JBA's current campaign 'Better Choices, Better Banking', the organisation has heralded its commitment to finding solutions, demystifying bank myths and revolutionising how banking is done in Jamaica.

The organisation, which came under heavy fire at last week's PSOJ-curated forum themed 'Time for Growth: Unlocking the Power of SMEs', saw them not only signing a joint declaration of intent pledging to provide easier funding solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SME), but also finding solutions to the financial and other pains of these small businesses and the public on a whole.

David Noel, president of the Jamaica Bankers Association (JBA), and other members of the association declared their support of these SMEs at the event held on July 3, 2019 at Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel. Noel, in addressing the forum, expressed the bank's commitment to giving quality service to their customers, hence the need to have dialogue and get to correcting the issues.

“We know we can't continue how we've been operating as banks – it's not sustainable. We want to hear all of your stories today because, even though it's not pleasant for me as a banker to hear how we have failed in this area, if we don't openly listen to what you have to say and start making changes, we will always be having the same conversation. The reason we can't afford to lose this opportunity now is because the economy is in a place now where we really can make a difference in Jamaica,” he stated.

Chorvelle Johnson, CEO Sagicor Bank and another top banking representative, also solidified what her colleague said by sharing on the importance of a combined effort to see changes to the Jamaican financial landscape. In her presentation on the topic 'Ready to Engage', she reiterated earlier claims by saying that as banks they have heard the concerns of their customers and will be deciding what needs to be implemented to make life easier for them. She further stated that “as a country, we have work to do to simplify how we operate, and if the private sector – small and medium-sized businesses, micro businesses, large businesses, bankers, etc – collectively agree that something doesn't work, we have the power to ensure it is addressed”. She concluded by expressing hope that SMEs will also commit their support to the regulatory changes as they work together as a group to further accelerate the growth of SMEs and that of the country, by extension.

The JBA is a non-profit organisation that represents the commercial banks and one merchant bank in Jamaica. In partnering with their members they work to create and maintain a profitable environment in which the services of banks are valued by their customers. As a group, they also work closely with government and other stakeholders to influence regulations and laws which affect the banking industry, and keep members informed about how developments may affect their businesses.


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