After some eight years of planning and negotiation, Jamaica National Bank (JN Bank) began operation in Kingston, Jamaica on February 1.
The bank, the result of the reorganization of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), is Jamaica’s newest and seventh commercial bank, but the only one to be owned by its members who are also members of the Jamaica National Building Society.
The bank is the nation’s third largest with announced assets of $180 billion and savings of $10 billion.
JN Bank’s managing director is Maureen Hayden-Cater who said the bank’s customers can look forward to special banking packages and new features that will position the bank to increase its competitiveness in the already competitive commercial banking sector. She said the bank is anxious to serve its customers and provide the services that members of the Building Society had been seeking for the past several years.
JNBS has over half-a-million members including Jamaicans in the Diaspora who are now customers of JN Bank. The financial institution has members in Jamaican communities in the United States. Canada and the United Kingdom.
Already having a extensive nationwide networks through the building society the services of the bank will extend to 34 locations, including 25 branches and nine Money Shops.
Earl Jarrett, general manager of JN Group of which JN Bank is a subsidiary, said one of the new bank’s objective is to “deliver the greatest level of customer service” and offer banking fees that are lower than the those offered by other of Jamaica’s commercial bank.
A potential pool of new customers for the bank are government employees. Now that JNBS is operating as a commercial bank, these employees can open accounts and deposit their salary checks with the bank. Public sector regulations dictate that the salaries of public sector employees can only be deposited with commercial banks.
The Jamaica National Building Society was founded in 1864, as the Westmoreland Building Society. After a series of mergers, it emerged as the Jamaica National Building Society in 1970, and now becomes one of Jamaica’s largest commercial banks.