Sat | May 27, 2017

VMBS celebrates another milestone

Published:Friday | November 21, 2014 | 11:00 AM
President and chief executive officer, Victoria Mutual Building Society, Richard Powell (second left), cuts the anniversary cake with (from left) Keri-Gaye Brown, senior vice-president, group legal and corporate secretary; Vivienne Bayley-Hay, vice-president, group marketing and corporate affairs; and Peter Reid, senior vice-president and chief operating officer.
Friends since nursery school, the trio of (from left) Christopher Vendryes, sales manager, NCB Insurance; Dominic Azan, First Venture Ltd; and Christopher Blythe, president and CEO, Sarfia Insurance Brokers Ltd, hang out at the Victoria Mutual Building Society anniversary reception. - photos by Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer
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Daviot Kelly, Staff Reporter

President and CEO of Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), Richard Powell, said the entity was this year able to underscore its position as market leader in affordability of undertaking necessary financial transactions.

"The fact is that the fees charged by VMBS to its members and customers represents the lowest overall transaction fees charged by any deposit-taking institution," he said.

"And here I refer to all commercial banks and building societies operating in Jamaica", he added.

Powell was speaking at VMBS' 136th anniversary reception at Devon House on Friday, November 14. He quoted Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) figures which showed that total fee income for commercial banks was 23.5 per cent of total revenue, whereas for building societies, as a group, the comparable number was 7.1 per cent.

"What the BOJ did not report was that in the case of Victoria Mutual, that number is less than one per cent of total revenue," he said.

The BOJ's report also reflected that among building societies, VMBS either had the lowest, or joint lowest fees, in all 26 categories of fees in which comparisons were made.

In 25 of those categories, VMBS' services were provided for free.

"This empirical data underpins and validates our 'low or no-fee' advertising campaign," he said.

"We celebrate the fact that we remain the only financial institution that offers ATM services free of charge to our members at all ATMs and point-of-sale terminals operated on the MultiLink network, whether operated by a commercial bank, another building society, or a credit union."

Powell opined that VMBS had become "a strong financial conglomerate, equipped and ready to serve for another 136 years."

Powell said although "green shoots" were beginning to appear after a tough year, there was still much to be done.

"We encourage the political directorate to hold the ship of State steady, and to remain resolute in its commitment to the execution of all measures necessary, to meet all the objectives of the medium-term economic programme," he said.

Powell said VMBS has remained relevant by broadening its range of products and services to meet changing market needs.

From its original basic-savings and home-loans instruments, VMBS has expanded to include wealth management, money transfer, superannuation schemes and retirement plans. as well as general insurance, through its affiliate, British Caribbean Insurance Company.

daviot.kelly@gleanerjm.com