JIS News

The Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), has undertaken a programme of reorganisation of the island’s People’s Co-operative (PC) Banks, which should see the launch of a national co-operative within a few weeks.
Byron McDonald, General Manager for Credit and Loan Administration at the DBJ, which has responsibility for the co-operatives, told JIS News, that the necessary resolutions to implement the national entity were being passed at the local level, with an inaugural general meeting to launch the National People’s Co-operative Bank to take place before the end of the year.
Mr. McDonald said the DBJ has been assisting the PC’s with their restructuring over the last eight years with the aim of increasing their operating efficiency. He explained that the new initiative would see the merger of some banks and the PC’s would operate as one entity, with a head office to be located in Manchester.
“You can envisage the National PC Bank as one bank akin to the National Commercial Bank, or the Bank of Nova Scotia, with its head office and the various branches. We have reduced some of the branches, merged them, in respect to getting operational efficiency, and cutting back on cost.”
“The idea is that with ultimately better trained and better quality staff, the opportunity would be given to increase some of the loan limits, also to look at the branches moving to lending more aggressively in non-agricultural areas,” he informed.
He assured that, the move into non-agricultural lending would not reduce funding provided to the farming community, and would include loans for cottage industries and other small operations.
“We see an exciting role for the PC Banks going forward, not withstanding the several challenges that they have with farmers in particular, competing with imports and high cost of inputs,” he stated.Mr. McDonald told JIS News that at the inaugural general meeting of the new entity, the corporate plan along with objectives would be outlined.

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