Friday 3 April, 2020

Deposit-taking institutions get BOJ approval to adjust operating hours

The JMMB Group is  the latest financial institution to announce a reduction in its opening hours, effective Monday, March 23. File photo shows JMMB's Knutsford Boulevard branch.

The JMMB Group is the latest financial institution to announce a reduction in its opening hours, effective Monday, March 23. File photo shows JMMB's Knutsford Boulevard branch.

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has approved the temporary variation of the opening or closing hours for branches of Deposit-Taking Institutions licensed under the Banking Services Act.

The decision was made based on the developments relating to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Deposit-taking institutions include commercial banks, merchant banks and building societies.

These institutions will now operate for 20 hours per week, down from 25 hours weekly.

"Accordingly, subject to regulatory approval, individual deposit-taking institutions may be revising their respective opening or closing hours as of Monday, March 23, 2020, while ensuring that they provide at least 20 hours of service to the public each week," the BOJ said in a statement.

The JMMB Group is the latest financial institution to announce a reduction in its opening hours, effective Monday.

“The JMMB Group, in response to the threats of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), has adjusted its opening hours, in a bid to protect its clients and team members,” the company said in a statement.

Effective Monday, March 23, the JMMB Group branches will serve clients on Mondays to Fridays between the hours of 8.30 am and 1 pm with the exception of its Portmore branch, which will be open from 10.30 am to 3 pm.

Meanwhile, the Haughton Terrace Drive-thru will open from 8.30 a.m. to 2 pm.  Additionally, the JMMB Portmore branch and Haughton Terrace Drive-thru will be closed on Saturdays, until further notice.

JMMB also limited the number of clients to be served at any time in its branch, last week, to no more than 10 persons.

This move follows on the recent announcement of the Prime Minister and on the encouragement by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, to practice social distancing.

In the meantime, JMMB is encouraging its clients to utilize its online channels, JMMB Moneyline and Visa-certified automated teller machines (ATMs) to conduct transactions, in order to limit social interaction and keep themselves and their loved ones safe. 

Gifford Rankine, general manager, group digital services at JMMB

“Clients can also now do self-registration online at jm.jmmb.com, so that they can access JMMB Moneyline, which facilitates several transactions that are currently carried out in branch, among other services such as bill payment, monitor their accounts, do local and international wire transfers, standing orders, buy and sell stocks and cambio services,” said Gifford Rankine, general manager, group digital services.

Rankine also reminded clients that they may utilize their JMMB Bank Visa debit card for payment at merchants and online, so that they can limit cash transactions and contain the potential threat of transmitting the COVID-19 while handling cash.

In keeping with its in-branch sanitization efforts, JMMB Bank has also equipped its ATM locations with sanitizers.

Further, all Real-time Gross Settlement (RTGS) fees have also been waived by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) until March 31, to encourage the use of transfers, so that clients can limit direct cash transactions while making payments easily, JMMB said.

The company will continue to serve clients via its client care (call) centre, which can be reached at (876) 998-5662 (JMMB), Mondays to Sundays: from 8 am to 12 am. A dedicated senior citizen helpline is also in place, at (876)704-3996.

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