JIS News

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  • Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, is encouraging consumers to aggressively shop around to identify financial institutions offering low interest rate loans.
  • “We have the benefit, in Jamaica, of many entities (and) you have a choice (of) where you can borrow from. We have a tendency to look at just one (institution). I think that it’s a good time for individuals, stakeholders and companies, to aggressively shop around,” the Governor said.
  • He was speaking during a press briefing at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston on Wednesday (August 22).

Bank of Jamaica (BoJ) Governor, Brian Wynter, is encouraging consumers to aggressively shop around to identify financial institutions offering low interest rate loans.

“We have the benefit, in Jamaica, of many entities (and) you have a choice (of) where you can borrow from. We have a tendency to look at just one (institution). I think that it’s a good time for individuals, stakeholders and companies, to aggressively shop around,” the Governor said.

He was speaking during a press briefing at the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service in Kingston on Wednesday (August 22).

Mr. Wynter said individuals and companies should seek to exploit the opportunities that Jamaica’s competitive financial market offers.

“When you look at the large corporate sectors, they are not complaining about interest rates because they are getting very competitive interest rates in Jamaican dollars. Some of that comes from the fact that they can issue bonds, as a competing element, directly to the public… (so) they have pricing power,” he argued.

Mr. Wynter added that “what we want to focus on is how we make sure that, that kind of competitive process drives lower rates in the banking systems for the medium-sized smaller enterprises”, which he contended “is not an easy problem to solve.”

Since June 2017, the BoJ has reduced its policy rate six times. The overnight policy rate was reduced four times by 25 basis points on each occasion to 2.50 per cent, at May 2018.

Monetary policy decisions are intended to guide the interest rates set by commercial banks and other financial institutions.

Meanwhile, Mr. Wynter indicated that the National Financial Inclusion Strategy contains a component focusing on financing for Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (MSMEs).

The Strategy has as one of its impact indicators, the goal of achieving an increase in the percentage of total private-sector credit extended to MSMEs to 11 per cent.

Mr. Wynter said, currently, there are various initiatives being implemented to this end, led mainly by the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ).

“But we are very much involved to make sure we are looking at the elements to help to unclog this. We have Ministries of Government that are very much trying to push that sort of reform,” he stated.