JIS News

One of Jamaica’s oldest financial institutions, the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS), is currently celebrating 130 years of operation.The entity, which has encouraged Jamaicans to save and invest wisely, with a particular bias towards owning their own homes, began operating 130 years ago as the Westmoreland Building Society.
Encouraging Jamaicans to save and assisting them to own their own homes is also in line with programmes and policies the Government has introduced and implemented over the years.
To mark the milestone, the JNBS launched a special ‘torch ride’ at its branch situated in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland on January 24.In his address at the ceremony, Branch Manager, Howard Pottinger said it was only fitting that the launch should take place at that particular location.
“Today we are celebrating 130 years of financial growth and stability, which began right here in Savanna-la-Mar, and so this place holds a special place in our hearts as it was the vision and insight of your fore parents that saw the birth of the Westmoreland Building Society, which has grown over the years into the stalwart we see today,” he said.Mr. Pottinger said that JNBS had a very strong and illustrious tradition of which its entire membership could be justly proud.
“We are the oldest building society in Jamaica, and not only have we been here for a century but more importantly, we have made and continue to make a difference in the lives of those we serve,” he added.
The Branch Manager noted that the organization was founded “on the backs of rural folks”.”Our roots started in the country and we pride ourselves on being one of a very few totally Jamaican-owned grassroot institutions, so the start of our celebration here is quite deliberate,” he said.
Mr. Pottinger thanked the Jamaica Cycling Federation for partnering with the Society to carry the Chairman’s 130th anniversary message around the island. The torch ride will end on July 31 this year.
“The theme for our celebrations is: ‘A beacon in the past.. a guiding light for the future’, and our symbol is a lighthouse, because in just the same way a lighthouse steers ships away from danger to safety, so do we in our own way steer our shareholders and customers towards their goal of personal and financial fulfillment,” he said.
Some of the services provided by the 23 branches and six subsidiaries throughout the island include, granting of home loans, mobilizing savings, trading in foreign currencies, investment management, insurance premium financing, general insurance, real estate management and development, and small business loan financing.
The JNBS also operates subsidiaries and representative offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, United States and the Cayman Islands.
At the end of December 2003, the assets of the Society were recorded at $72.8 billion.

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