Top Jamaican Banks
and Financial Institutions

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Contributed by Chevon Morris

Jamaican banks offer a 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 afford by the the major institutions with you below.

    Commercial Banks

    Jamaica has seven commercials banks, as categorized by the Bank of Jamaica as of February 28, 2010.

    These include, The Bank of Nova Scotia Jamaica Ltd (BNS), First Caribbean, Citibank, First Global, RBTT Jamaica Ltd, Pan Caribbean and The National Commercial Bank.

top jamaican banks
  • 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. It's business service entails corporate and commercial banking, small business banking, cash management and international trade support. Such services has lead BNS to be the Jamaica’s leading financial institution. It has been in existence 

  • National Commercial Bank (NCB)...also 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 acquiring all the shares of Barclay's Bank of Jamaica changed the name to National Commercial bank Jamaica Ltd. (NCB). Since 2002 NCB has been acquired and managed by AIC Canada’s largest privately held mutual fund company. Their service includes variety of products for personal and business banking, wealth management and insurance.

  • 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. 
    Credit Unions

    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

    • Montego Bay Cooperative Credit Union... Personally, my favourite credit union. They have a large and growing asset base and offer some great products for its members.

    • City of Kingston Co-operative Credit Union...currently manages a multi-billion portfolio of J$5.24B in savings and J$6.65B in assets on behalf of just over 213,000 clients. This makes them the largest credit union among the 52 credit unions in Jamaica and the 320  in the Caribbean. It has been in existence since 1967 and offers products such as Savings and Investment, Loans and other products such as Health and Death Insurance Legal Services Cambio, Remittance and a Discount program with 50 participating stores.

    • Churches Credit Union...has been a member of the Jamaica Co-operative Credit Union League since 1977 and as been in existence since 1971. They are the second largest credit union in Jamaica and the third largest in terms of asset base. 

    Building Societies

    The most popular building societies in Jamaica are The Jamaica Building Society (JNBS) and Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS).

    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 Jamaica Building Society (JNBS) ranked among Jamaica's largest financial institutions offering a blend of financial services and mortgage plans to customers living in Jamaica, the USA, the UK, Canada and The Cayman Islands. 

    • Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS)... is also 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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Posted: 3/29/2010

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