Perspective on Jamaicas Banking Services (Deposit Taking Institutions) (Agent Banking) Regulations Resolution, 2016

audley shawThe IMF has been urging the government to broaden the financial landscape so there will be more competition which hopefully should benefit the consumer by lowering interest rates and reduce spreads of banks etc. There has been a Special House Committee … advocated by MP, PNP’s Fitz Jackson which has been examining banking fees.

This new Banking Services (Agent Banking) Regulations Resolution 2016 is intended to address the IMF and Fitz Jackson’s et al concerns.

The Jamaica Bankers’ Association is being engaged in the dialogue.

The Financial Services meltdown of the 1990’s that led to the collapse of giants like Jamaica Mutual Life,  Island Life, Century National Bank, Worker’s Bank to name a few and subsequently the FINSAC Enquiry into the Financial Sector.

The FINSAC Report is yet to be published. There was a J$10 million dollars said to be required to complete this report.

The PNP when in power, refused to release the funds. There is the feeling that the PNP was not anxious to let the FINSAC Eeport see the light of day due to their actions which have been viewed as responsible for the Financial meltdown of the1990s.

This Agent Banking initiative is a return to better financial management and the restoration of loss ground.

This is a visionary move at this time and we support Agent Banking as it is long overdue.

It does widen if not level the playing field as it is estimated that 37 percent  of Jamaicans do not have a bank account.

Mobile Banking

The Opposition PNP reacted by calling for legislation to make mobile banking a reality while acknowledging that work in this regard has already started.

There are some 2 million cellphone subscribers and 1 million internet customers in Jamaica with an estimated population of 2. 9 million people locally.

by Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie who is Senior International Correspondent & photojournalist for Vision Newspaper Canada.

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