Fri | Apr 28, 2017

JMMB still awaiting commercial banking licence

Published:Wednesday | July 8, 2015 | 7:00 AM
The JMMB building at 11 Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston.

The JMMB Group indicated on Monday that there was still no firm timetable by which JMMB Merchant Bank might start operating as a commercial bank.

Kerry-Ann Stimpson, group marketing manager said the company was still working towards meeting the requirements of the central bank.

"JMMB Group is working assiduously to complete all of the elements required for submission of the application to the Bank of Jamaica for the licence," she said.

JMMB Merchant Bank is the rebranded Capital and Credit Merchant Bank, JMMB having acquired the Capital and Credit Group in 2012 for J$4 billion.

The operation remains only one of two merchant banks in a sector dominated by six commercial banks. Access to a commercial banking licence will, among other benefits, provide JMMB access to the lucrative credit card market.

third in banking sector

In a release on Monday, the company said that deposit growth over the financial year ended March 2014 has doubled, "making JMMB Merchant Bank third behind Scotiabank and National Commercial Bank in the banking sector in deposit and loan growth sales".

For the 2013-14 financial year, JMMB Merchant Bank recorded net profits of $304.12 million, an increase of $197.66 million over the prior year.

The merchant bank recorded net interest income of $745 million for the financial year, an increase of $141.94 million over the 15-month performance for the 2012-13 financial year.

"This reflects the growth in its loan portfolio as well as tight management of the portfolio in order to prevent deterioration in quality," the release said.

The bank said loans have doubled since 2012 and that the non-performing portion of its loan portfolio remained at a "notable 1.17 per cent, relative to an industry average of around 4.69 per cent".

customised solutions

JMMB Merchant Bank Chief Executive Officer Jerome Smalling said the bank has turned to customised solutions for clients. "We have been able to provide tailor-made solutions for both business and personal clients," he said.

The company said client education on financial manage-ment was another project being pursued and was tied to a push to increase savings.

"A number of our solutions are tied to savings plans as we encourage clients to construct wealth accumulation plans for various short, medium and long-term needs," said Smalling.

JMMB has operations in Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Trinidad & Tobago. Its line of business spans securities dealing, stock brokering, foreign exchange trading, insurance brokering, banking and remittances. It is listed on the Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica stock exchanges.

The group owns one commercial bank in Trinidad following the acquisition of Intercommercial Bank Limited and Intercommercial Trust & Merchant Bank Limited in the twin-island republic in 2013.

avia.collinder@gleanerjm.com