NATIONAL Commercial Bank (NCB) and Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) on Friday each announced individual facilities to help Jamaicans recover from losses due to Hurricane Sandy.
NCB has introduced a low interest loan, the NCB Hurricane Recovery Facility, that requires no collateral and may be used to assist in rectifying any type of damage sustained as a result of Hurricane Sandy including roof repairs. Interest rates are as low as 12 per cent, and customers may borrow any amount from $50,000 up to $5,000,000 with a maximum of three years to repay, the company said.
The NCB Hurricane Recovery Facility can also be used to put in place preventive measures to improve one's ability to withstand future disasters of a similar nature, including purchasing water tanks and pumps, generators and solar energy solutions.
"Our customers are priority one for us. We are aware of the impact the passing of the hurricane has had on many Jamaicans and believe we should play our part in helping to make the restoration process as easy as possible," said Audrey Tugwell-Henry, senior general manager at NCB retail banking.
"We have lowered our unsecured loan interest rate significantly to ease the burden on Jamaicans at this time and we are providing customers with a two-month window starting today, within which to access the funds they need," she added, noting that applications can be submitted to any of NCB's branches islandwide.
Tugwell-Henry said, to minimise the out-of-pocket expenses to customers, NCB is offering the option to have commitment fees financed in the loan amount. She added that the company is committed to "a quick turnaround time and a seamless approval process".
Meanwhile, JNBS and its subsidiaries in the JN Group have developed a special offering of loans and discounted remittance fees to facilitate the recovery process for members and clients in response to the impact of the Category One hurricane. In addition, the insurance arm of the JN Group has activated its Catastrophe Mobile Response Teams, promising speedy claims settlement.
"It is following disasters such as this one, that insurance proves its worth," said Chris Hind, general manager of JNGi. "We are therefore, requesting all of our home and commercial insurance customers who incurred damage, to contact us."
Earl Jarrett, JNBS general manager, said he was concerned about the impact of the hurricane on the people of Jamaica and has declared the commitment of the JN Group to assist in a return to normalcy as quickly as possible.
"The society and its companies in the JN Group are working together to help persons recover from damage to their homes and disruption in their lives," Jarrett said, noting that, "in the wake of disaster, a quick response is imperative".
The JN Group, through its main operating arm, Jamaica National, is offering hurricane recovery loans, he said. These loans can either be secured by deposits with the institution, through equity in their properties, or be unsecured.
"Loans are also available through our subsidiary, JN Small Business Loans Limited," Jarrett stated. He pointed out that the small business lender has a disaster risk analysis capability; and is thus able to determine which clients are most likely to have been severely affected by the hurricane, and where the assistance is most needed.
"Additionally, JN Money Services will offer a 50 per cent discount on money transfer fees, starting today (October 26) and ending on November 1," Jarrett said, noting that this is in order to provide a pathway for Jamaicans in the Diaspora to support their families and friends.