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JNBS clarifies NHT talks

Published:Sunday | May 16, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor, Sir:

Building societies, including the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), are always in discussions with the National Housing Trust (NHT) about the operation of the Joint Financing Mortgage Programme (JFMP) between the NHT and the societies.

And, it was in that context that JNBS Mortgage Executive, Mrs Wanica Purkiss, responded to questions in the article "JNBS going after NHT's mortgage portfolio," which was published in the Financial Gleaner on Friday, May 14, 2010.

Mrs Purkiss' comment with regard to the outsourcing of the NHT's mortgage portfolio was made in response to the question: Are there any talks on your part to encourage the agency to outsource its mortgage portfolio to the industry? And, her response, on an industry basis, was as follows:

"The talks with the NHT in this respect are ongoing. The NHT would stand to derive certain benefits from outsourcing its mortgage portfolio while being able to negotiate rates and amounts being borrowed:

"It could reduce the trust's operation cost-to-service loans, as the building societies would assume responsibility for loan processing, disbursement, and servicing of loans.

"It eliminates the risk of arrears, as these risks will be transferred to building societies, which will be required to make agreed interest payments to the NHT, irrespective of how beneficiaries service their loans."

The question was posed on an "industry level" basis and Mrs Purkiss responded accordingly. At no time did she indicate that Jamaica National Building Society was in direct, one-to-one discussions with the NHT with regard to its mortgage portfolio.

I am, etc.,

Carmen Tipling

Communications executive

Jamaica National Building Society