In keeping with the provisions of its licence to operate as a microcredit institution, Access Financial Services (AFS) has launched a road tour to update its customers on the new regulations.
Starting Thursday, October 6, the AFS road tour will cover customers based in three parishes in central Jamaica being hosted at their Mandeville branch.
AFS chief executive, Frederick Williams, explained, “good corporate governance and accountability are standard for Access. What we’re doing now with this road tour is to ensure that our customers are aware of the changes that are effective under the new regulations and what it means for them.”
He emphasises the importance of connecting with customers to ensure they understand the changes and feel heard in the process, “as for us they are the heart and soul of this economy and the core of our business, and so we treat them as such.”
According to Williams, “improved customer service and greater transparency are intended outcomes of this new dispensation, and while Access customers already expect that from us, we want our people to get a chance to ask questions and give us feedback.”
On July 29 this year, Access became the first player in the microfinance sector to receive a licence from the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ). Under the Microcredit Act (MCA) 2021 and the new regulations, all lenders in the sector must commit to improved transparency for consumers.
Among other things, the newly implemented regulations of the MCA require lenders to provide greater details on the effective interest rates, fees and terms and conditions of the loan products to borrowers and support financial inclusion.
AFS provides personal and business loans to micro small and medium enterprises, serving customers through a network of 17 branches across Jamaica. With assets under management of just over $5.6 billion, Access Financial Services is one of the leading microcredit entities in the market. The company generated revenues of J$1.97 billion and consolidated net profit after tax of J$438 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022.