Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, has charged commercial banks to be the driving force behind the growth of the entrepreneurial sector.
Minister Shaw noted during a press conference at the Ministry in Kingston on August 27, that small businesses want to invest, but the commercial banking sector “has to be the mainframe behind how we can get that investment going.”
Mr. Shaw said banks could also assist entrepreneurs by “knocking on doors,” and suggesting that business plans are developed. “Maybe banks could set up a little window….have an incubator section in the bank that they help to perfect business plans,” he further suggested.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Hon. Audley Shaw, raises a point during a press conference held at the Ministry in Kingston, on Friday, August 27.
“It’s going to be a partnership. The Government is going to continue to be fiscally prudent in the management of the budgetary process. We are going to make sure that we control our deficit and we are going to make sure that we fight the scourge of corruption,” he added.
On another matter, Minister Shaw said he has asked the Governor of the Bank of Jamaica to carry out a study on bank charges and to look at best practices, to compare these with fees across the region, as well as internationally.
This follows reports of banks charging customers to make deposits, which Minister Shaw described as “quite ludicrous.”
“But of course, bank charges is only one side of it. The overall interest rate structure is the other side of it. When treasury bills go up, the banks adjust it within a matter of days if not hours, and when treasury bills go down, and are sustainably going down, there is a certain sluggishness there that is challengeable,” he said.
In light of this, he advised the institutions to “look at a swifter pace of reduction, so that the purposes for which commercial banking were invented can be achieved – to be the locomotive to drive a market economy that is based on increased productive capacity and earnings.”