Thursday 19 September, 2019

JMMB Bank loan portfolio outpaces industry

JMMB Knutsford financial life goals centre.

JMMB Knutsford financial life goals centre.

JMMB Bank, the newest commercial bank in Jamaica, saw growth of 26  per cent in its loan portfolio, year-over-year, for the period ending March 31, 2019; totalling J$6.94 billion.

This performance sets JMMB Bank ahead of the local banking industry’s 16.9 per cent loan portfolio growth rate, over the same one-year period, according to JMMB.

Though JMMB Bank remains one of the smaller players in the industry, the company has seen steady growth in both its deposit base and loan portfolio; and has taken deliberate steps to ensure that it provides innovative and client-centric financial solutions, designed to help clients to achieve their goals, said JMMB Bank CEO Jerome Smalling.

JMMB Bank CEO Jerome Smalling

“The bank has been strategic in forging partnerships with key players, to develop financing solutions to meet clients’ needs and fill gaps identified in the market; an example of this is the first of its kind maternity loan offered in partnership with the Hugh Wynter Fertility Management (HWFM) unit, which provides financing for fertility procedures.”

He further noted: “we have also taken a flexible approach to client partnership, as we recognize that each client has his/her own unique needs and circumstances. As such, we have tailored our offerings to meet a client’s specific needs, in a holistic way; this is applicable for both corporate and retail (individual) clients.”

This approach reflects the JMMB Group’s financial partnership culture of having its clients’ best interest at heart and adding value to clients, through the provision of financial solutions that will both meet their needs and assist them to transform their dreams to reality. 

Even with the exponential growth in the bank’s loan portfolio, it has been able to maintain one of the lowest non-performing loan (NPL) ratios in the industry, at 1.6 per cent of total loans, when compared to the industry’s average of 2.3 per cent, JMMB said.

The bank also ended the 2018/19 financial year with $1.14 billion in profit, which reflects a 79 per cent uptick, when compared to the corresponding prior period.

JMMB Bank eyes growth in loan portfolio and SMEs

During this financial year (2019/2020), as part of the JMMB Group’s standardization and process improvement project, there will be a streamlining of its product/solution set and in-branch experience that is supported by standardised technology, processes and systems for the banking business line across the group’s operations in Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago and Dominican Republic.  This is aimed at improving the client experience and operational efficiency of the bank and providing a more seamless experience for clients.

Although not providing a timeline, Smalling also revealed that the commercial bank is looking to launch its Visa Debit card and propriety automated banking machines (ABM), in the near term, as part of its digitization strategy.  This will support greater access to its banking services, outside of its seven physical locations, and improve on the service delivery to its growing client base, and is in keeping with global trends in the industry.

As the bank continues to bolster its growth and provide value-added services and solutions, it has also revised its unsecured credit terms and car loan offering, making financing more accessible and affordable to individuals.

JMMB Bank is also eyeing further growth in its mortgage portfolio and the small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) segment, during this financial year, to continue to drive revenue and grow market share. In commenting further, the JMMB Bank CEO said, “a holistic approach is being taken in serving the SME segment, as the needs of these players are varied and therefore, financing solutions for them will have to be customized, based on the respective entity.”

The company also hopes to further add value to its SME clients through the provision of financial partnership; business resource services, such as business plan writing and access to other support services; innovative financial solutions and a network of key stakeholders, such as venture capitalists, during the various stages of these businesses’ life cycles; thereby providing the necessary support to help the sector to grow, and fill the gaps that currently exist in the financial sector.  

Overall, the JMMB Group has reaped tangible benefits from its banking business line, across the region, having added 40 per cent or $1.96 billion, to JMMB Group’s $487 billion profit (before tax), for the financial year ending March 31, 2019.

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