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RBTT cuts loan rates Aug 1

Published:Friday | July 30, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica's number three commercial bank, RBTT, has joined other big lenders in a cut of loan rates, effective August 1.

The bank is cutting 225 basis points or 2.25 percentage points off its base rate, from 20. 5 per cent to 18.25 per cent.

"This is in response to the reduction in interest rates by the Bank of Jamaica," said Minna Israel, president and country manager of RBTT Bank Jamaica Limited.

"In addition, as we continue to review the marketplace and work with clients to meet their personal and business goals, this is another initiative of the bank to help them through these challenging economic times," she said.

Israel's announcement comes a week behind that of her peer Patrick Hylton, who last Friday announced at an investor's briefing that National Commercial Bank was shedding three percentage points off its rates on August 1.

The decision moves NCB's base rate to 17.75 per cent.

Israel said the rate adjustment should leave households with greater disposable income, and help stimulate investment by the business sector.

RBTT, which is owned by Royal bank of Canada, is ranked as Jamaica's third-largest commercial bank with an asset base of J$64.2 billion.

Among the bank's other market initiatives recently was the launch of a special US-dollar line of credit for small and medium enterprises, valued at US$10 million, for the purposes of trade financing and capital expenditure, including business expansion and upgrade of facilities.

Scotiabank Jamaica and NCB now have the lowest rates among the commercial banks, but are still well above the single-digit rates that businesses have been angling for.

Such rates are only on offer in special loan sales, which the banks offer intermittently.