Story of the unbanked (business)

Letters to the Editor

Story of the unbanked (business)

Friday, May 22, 2020

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Dear Editor,

I pen this letter to register my frustration and seek some advice on this matter.

On May 8, 2020 I went to National Commercial Bank (NCB), the Bay West Branch in Montego Bay, to open a business bank account. Bear in mind I have visited the same location twice to get the necessary information needed to open a business bank account. After doing my due diligence, I hoped that the process would have been seamless this time around. Unfortunately, this was not so. I was sent to an unprofessional business banker.

I waited one hour and 30 minutes before he came for my documents for review. Keep in mind prior arrangements had been made for a 9:00 am appointment. After waiting so long I was told that NCB doesn't open bank accounts for microlending businesses, because these businesses are considered their competitors.

I was left astonished, disappointed, and frustrated.

When I sought further clarity on the matter, the response was, “Sir, I don't see what in that you can't understand.”

I went on to ask him, “So where do other loan companies in Jamaica have bank accounts?” I was offered a short response, “Please go to Scotiabank.”

I was even more perturbed.

So I took my documents and went over to Scotiabank to be told the same thing — but in a more professional manner.

I am therefore asking the Bank of Jamaica, why any of our two major commercial banks can't open a business bank account for other financial institutions.

In addition, I would love to be advised on how to open a business account for my payday loan business.


Concerned business owner

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