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JMMB targets SMEs

Business reporter

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The JMMB Group plans to target nearly three-quarters of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that rely on financing from moneylending agencies and individuals, as well as capture at least 25 per cent of its current clients' children, with the launch of tailored solutions by the end of its 2018 financial year.

The launch of the products forms part of JMMB's 2017/2018 strategic focus to improve sales productivity and capacity while increasing client reach, as the institution moves to establish itself as a strong player in the Jamaican commercial banking space by 2020.

JMMB is also focused on embedding client experience and financial partnership in their culture, and improving operational efficiency, leadership and people development.

“We did a focus group in 2016; we just finished conducting some surveys, so we have the SMEs needs and pain points now to see if what we are thinking is the right approach. Then we will be developing the solutions and making alliances with other partners and maybe to create a community where they can exchange ideas and think what works and what doesn't,” Country Chief Executive Officer of Jamaica Operations Kisha Anderson told the Jamaica Observer at the company's annual general meeting on Thursday. The event was held at the Jamaica Pegasus in New Kingston.

She added that the company will not only focus on offering affordable financing to the under-banked, but will be partnering with other companies to provide a full-suite service to the SME sector, including presentations on how to successfully build a business.

“We think it's the future because when we look at the overall economy and where growth is required from, it's going to come from this sector. So we see it as a part of our responsibility, looking at the overall financial landscape of Jamaica,” she reasoned.

As for the children, the bank said it expects to launch, before the end of March 2018, a financial solution that educates children on managing money, while encouraging them to save.

“We realised that we had a lot of first-generation clients who are now bringing in second-generation clients, meaning their children. When we talk to children, they want to have information that they can access for themselves but they also take guidance from older persons. So we want to start this whole business of education for persons at a younger age,” the country CEO told the Business Observer.

According to Anderson, the children solution will include education seminars via YouTube among other media platforms, packaged in ways children learn. Currently, JMMB has over 220,000 investment clients, most of whom are active.

“If we can convert at least 25 per cent of our 220,000 clients, that will go a long way for us winning market share. So what we intend to do first is approach our investment clients and ask them where are you getting your commercial banking needs met and how did those day to day commercial transactions fit in your overall financial plan,” she said.

JMMB Group, which conducts business in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago, aims to drive growth by focusing on the roll-out of new banking centres, improving its online capabilities, adding more commercial banking services, and simplifying client solutions.

Earlier this year, the bank announced plans of expanding its integrated, financial life goal centres to six branches across the island by the end of 2018. It's a move JMMB believes will capitalise on expected growth opportunities in the transportation, storage and communication sectors led by improvement in Jamaica's mining, construction, hotel, tourism, wholesale and retail activities.