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During the 2006/07 fiscal period, the Jamaica Deposit Insurance Corporation (JDIC) remained focused on ensuring that consumers were able to distinguish between various product offerings and institution types.
According to the Corporation’s annual report for the period, “the growing complexity of financial markets and proliferation of products available from various institutions, both regulated and unregulated, of necessity, places a heavy duty of care on the users of financial services, requiring them to ensure they are adequately informed of the options available and are therefore able to make the most prudent decisions.” “The Corporation recognizes therefore, that while it must intensify and reinforce core deposit insurance messages, the programme must also be responsive to the changing business environment,” the document adds. Much of the information was disseminated through the media, mainly through advertisements focusing on the institutions and products insured, and the coverage limit. Although less emphasis was placed on print, an updated list of insured institutions was published in local newspapers at the end of each quarter, ensuring that constituents were continuously reminded of the deposit insurance boundaries. Also, 10 billboards were designed and strategically placed along major thoroughfares across the island.
Partnership with policyholders was seen as a key strategy in achieving the public education objective and in light of this, the Corporation continued to work closely with policyholder institutions, through designated liaison officers, the Annual Policyholders Forum and other established avenues. However, the main thrust for the year was training of policyholders’ staff and the increased dissemination of information, which increased during the month of October. Outreach to schools continued to be an integral aspect of the public education programme and with the nod from the Ministry of Education, the Corporation hosted its fourth annual essay competition for secondary schools. Public forums and seminars were also included in the outreach drive.
Toward the second half of the year, the JDIC hosted a major public forum, in partnership with the other safety net players. The forum, which was staged in Mandeville, served not only to inform about deposit insurance, but also to highlight the role and function and the interrelatedness of the supervisory agencies and the deposit insurer.
Evaluation of the effectiveness of the delivery methods and awareness level, is on-going. The results of a public awareness survey, which was conducted during the year, indicate improvement in awareness levels with a comparatively high percentage of awareness of deposit insurance and its availability. This stood at 55.6 per cent, compared with less than 20 per cent in previous surveys.
In addition, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), continued to support the core function areas of the JDIC in the maintenance of new and existing operations in a cost-effective manner.