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by Chevon Morris | Associate Writer
Jamaican banks offer an extensive array of banking services, but perhaps the main services are concentrated under three types of institutions - Commercial Banks, Credit Unions and Building societies.
I'll share a few of the services afforded by the major institutions with you below.
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Jamaica has eight commercial banks, as categorized by the Bank of Jamaica as of September 10th, 2021.
These include The Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Ltd (BNS), First Caribbean, Citibank, First Global, Sagicor Bank, The National Commercial Bank, JMMB Bank (Jamaica) Limited and Jamaica National (JN) Bank Limited.
National Commercial Bank (NCB), one of the top Jamaican banks (if not the top bank), started in Jamaica when the Colonial Bank of London, England commenced operations in Kingston in 1837.
In 1925 it was acquired by Barclay's Bank and by 1977 the Jamaican Government acquired all the shares of Barclay's Bank of Jamaica and changed the name to National Commercial bank Jamaica Ltd.
Since 2002 NCB has been acquired and managed by AIC Canada’s largest privately held mutual fund company. Their service includes a variety of products for personal and business banking, wealth management and insurance.
NCB Became the fist bank in Jamaica to launch a mobile wallet in 2021. Lynk, similar to Cash App, is available to Jamaican residents.
Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) provides many personal solutions, including - Accounts & plans, Credit Cards, insurance products, loans, Internet Banking, investment products, mortgages and so on.
Its business service entails corporate and commercial banking, small business banking, cash management and international trade support. Such services have led BNS to be Jamaica’s leading financial institution.
It has been in existence in Jamaica since 1889 and has since then grown to 35 branches island wide.
First Caribbean... is a major Caribbean bank offering full range market leading financial services in Corporate, Retail and Investment banking, Wealth Management, Credit Cards, Treasury Sales and Trading.
It is the largest, regionally listed bank in the English-speaking Caribbean, with assets over US$10.9 billion and market capitalization of US$2.5 billion.
Citibank N.A also enjoys a market space in Jamaica, its products and services includes Cash Management, International Trade, Treasury, Corporate Finance, loans and Asset Based Finance. Citibank®, formally known as the first National City Bank of New York, first opened its doors in Jamaica in September 1960.
Initially, it began operations as a commercial bank, but later focused on a special banking concept called Corporate Banking that was fully established in 1981.
Formally Jamaican National Building Society, the JN Bank expanded to include commercial banking services in 2017. This is in addition to its already established financial services and mortgage plans offered to customers living in Jamaica, the USA, the UK, Canada and the Cayman Islands.
JN Bank is ranked among Jamaica's largest financial institutions and also offers remittance services through Jamaica National Money Transfer as well.
Three of the most popular credit unions in Jamaica are City of Kingston Co-operative Credit Union Ltd (COK), the Montego Bay Cooperative Credit Union, and the Churches Credit Union
From as early as 1867, the concept of the Building Society was introduced to Jamaica to assist working and middle class people in realizing their dream to own their own home.
In the ensuing years, a number of Building Societies sprung to life and in the year 1865, an Act for the Regulation and Encouragement of Benefit Building Societies was passed.
The most popular building societies in Jamaica were The Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) and Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS). Jamaica National has since, become one of the eight commercial banks in Jamaica
Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) is very well established, and has a long standing name on our island. Its products and services includes Mortgage and Loan options, savings and deposit options and gift certificates.
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