Thu | Dec 2, 2021

Growth & Jobs | SMEs to get greater access to loans from JN Bank

Published:Tuesday | March 23, 2021 | 12:08 AM

Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) are to benefit from broader access to financing from the JN Group, with its commercial banking arm, JN Bank, now on-lending funds at single-digit interest rates from the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

This follows JN Bank’s recent designation as an approved financial institution (AFI) by the state-owned financier, which provides wholesale funding to the MSME sector for a wide range of purposes that span various industries to include: agriculture and agro-processing, energy, mining and quarrying, retail and distribution, manufacturing, services, construction, tourism, among others.

The JN Group has for decades played a major role in the development of the micro and small-business sector through its microfinance subsidiary, JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL), and has had a sustained relationship with the DBJ over the years.

In explaining how JN Bank’s reach will differ from JNSBL’s, JN Bank’s chief of business banking, Ryan Parkes, says that there is a specific cohort of businesses with financial needs for which the DBJ model, coupled with JN Bank’s expertise and service, is best suited.

“Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have a greater difficulty accessing financing than the typical large companies. These are those customers who fall short of coming to the table with the requisite collateral, which is a major concern for several businesses,” Parkes explained.

“On a whole, JNSBL caters to the micro-business sector. Although it has some small-business clients, its focus is primarily on the micro-business space. JN Bank, on the other hand, will be targeting the small businesses that are out of JNSBL’s scope as well as medium-sized enterprises. Therefore, whether you are a micro-, small- or medium-sized business, there is a solution for you within the JN Group,” he further explained.

He added that it is much more difficult for SMEs to get loans because they are mostly informal and many times don’t have the required documents needed to access financing.

Parkes said that the bank’s increased capacity to support SMEs means that the JN Group will offer holistic financial solutions to the market.

Further, he noted that JNSBL offers loans of up $15 million and JN Bank offers in excess of that amount.

“In fact, a micro entrepreneur who has been successful and has grown over the years will no longer be a micro business but will, perhaps, be a small business by definition. Also, that small business can graduate to being a medium-sized business,” he explained.

The JN Bank chief business banker continued: “Therefore, if a business has outgrown the offerings of JNSBL, it is now able to tap into the products and services of JN Bank that will better equip it with further growth.”

He said one such product is the JN Bank VISA Infinite Business credit card.

“The JN Bank VISA Infinite Business credit card acts as an interest-free loan for businesses for up to 55 days and small businesses that are in need of constant working capital. Therefore, utilising this product allows businesses to preserve cash while still meeting their financial obligations,” Parkes stated.

He noted that customers are also able to access business advisory services to aid them to better manage and grow their businesses.

“We are very particular about relationship banking and the ability to be able to deliver exceptional customer service to our clients, such as delivering the service on time, providing expert advice, being accessible and providing a personalised service. When the client comes to us with a particular request, we do our expert analysis. Very often, what you find is whatever the customer proposes is not necessarily what they’ll end up with. That is because we, as the experts, will guide the customer for a solution that will better match their needs,” he said.

He added that providing business advice is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ kind of approach, and the JN Bank team will look at each customer case uniquely and package the financial solution to meet that need directly.

“JN Bank and JNSBL welcome the partnership with the DBJ and expect great results from the collaboration, especially because this will allow businesses to receive better repayment terms,” said Parkes.

editorial@gleanerjm.com