JIS News

Another remittance outlet has been opened in the United Kingdom (UK), giving persons, particularly Jamaicans, more options in sending money back home.
On Friday, October 31, GraceKennedy Money Services officially launched its UK operations and deepened its relationship with Western Union, becoming one of that organisation’s seven Master Agents in the UK.
Deputy Chief Executive Officer of GraceKennedy Financial Group, Mr. Joseph Taffe, said the move was significant, as it was the first time that the company was venturing in “such a big way” outside of the Caribbean.
“In the UK, we will be providing the money remittance services to anyone who wants it. We will be providing more than we have traditionally. The model we operate in Jamaica and the Caribbean is what we will be taking to the UK, and it’s the first time that we are taking it out of the Caribbean,” he told JIS News in an interview.
According to Mr. Taffe, despite the world economic condition that has caused a decline in remittance flows, this was a good time for GraceKennedy Money Services to expand.
“The fact is that people will still be sending remittances. If we waited until when it was buoyant, then it might have been that much more difficult and costly to get in. Sometimes it is not always at the peak that you should get in, sometimes you should get in when it’s down, so when it climbs back you are already there and you reap the benefits,” Mr. Taffe said.
Managing Director of GraceKennedy Remittance Services, Ms. Joan-Marie Powell, told JIS News that the expansion in the UK was a significant move.
“We will have our network all over the United Kingdom to promote the service, but as time goes on our network will put in some of the other GraceKennedy Money Services products,” she said.
The launch took place at the Jamaican High Commission in London and High Commissioner, His Excellency Burchell Whiteman, said the move would support the Jamaican economy and enhance the image of Jamaica in the UK.
“It’s particularly important for Jamaica at this time, and the company, as we navigate our way through the choppy waters of the present global economic situation. Grace is doing the right thing. You look at a recession and you do not say, let us fold our hands until this thing is over, you do something to ensure that you help it to be over. The company has a tradition of doing the right thing,” he said.
GraceKennedy/Western Union currently operates from some 33 locations across the UK, and Ms. Powell said that by the end of this year, this would expand to 60, with plans to double that number next year.

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