THE EDITOR, Sir:
Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) does not charge 'a minimum balance fee' on its JN Schools Savers' Accounts, says Michele Pollard Gonzalez, member ombudsman. And, funds are not being deducted from these accounts, on a monthly basis.
Responding to a letter to The Gleaner, suggesting that the fee had been charged on one account, Mrs Pollard Gonzalez said, "If a School Savers account has been charged, it was done in error; and, the Society will make the necessary refunds, once the member visits the nearest branch."
She said that the Society apologises to this saver and any other savers whose accounts have been affected, as such deductions should not take place, and pointed out that, "we are reviewing our systems to address any such anomalies".
A minimum balance fee is charged by financial institutions to cover the cost of maintaining an account, Mrs Pollard Gonzalez explained. The Society instituted its minimum balance fees in 2011, following the imposition of the Jamaica Debt Exchange programme the previous year.
"We took a policy decision, at that time, not to impose the fee on our JN Schools Savers' Accounts, which are opened with a minimum of $100; and students making small deposits on a regular basis," the executive stated. "The aim of the School Savers programme is to encourage thrift among our young people."
All JN School Savers Accounts are managed in concert with school administrators; and the number on the account indicates its category. "Therefore, any JN Schools Savers whose account has had minimum balance fees deducted can get it adjusted by going to the nearest Jamaica National branch, where the total deductions made will be refunded to their account," she explained.
Mrs Pollard Gonzalez further noted, "Jamaica National is committed to the welfare of our students. And, over the years, has held financial literacy workshops and seminars for young people, in concert with the Caribbean Institute of Media and Communication at the University of the West Indies, as part of our drive to influence savings at all levels."
Jamaica National is committed to enhancing the future of our younger generation, and proudly restates its commitment to the development of our young savers, our communities and our country, she affirmed.
JN Corporate Communications