JMMB Bank, having made the transition to the commercial banking landscape in 2017, has again topped its industry in its growth rate, for the period ending June 30, 2021, according to data shared by the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ).
JMMB Bank saw a 39 per cent growth, or J$20.4 billion uptick in its loan portfolio, compared to the industry’s 10.3 per cent loan growth, over the same period. Additionally, the entity’s deposit base grew by 40 per cent or J$26.2 billion, moving from J$65.4 billion in June 2020 to J$91.6 billion, over the same period. This performance sets JMMB Bank ahead of the local banking industry’s 16.9 per cent deposit growth rate.
Even with the exponential growth in the bank’s loan portfolio, it has been able to maintain a below-average non-performing loan (NPL) ratio of 2.2 per cent of total loans, when compared to the industry’s average of 2.9 per cent.
Between June 2020, and June 2021, JMMB Bank provided support in the form of moratoriums, extended credit facilities and the maintenance of its pre-existing ‘no late fees payments policy’ on loans, to its most vulnerable retail and business clients. These relief actions were deployed in response to the economic fallout caused by the pandemic and as part of the bank’s commitment to client partnership.
The bank’s market share now stands at 7.6 per cent, retaining its position as the sixth-largest commercial entity in Jamaica.
Jerome Smalling, JMMB Bank CEO and head of JMMB Group’s banking business line, shared that the bank’s strategy for growth has been deliberate and designed to provide innovative and client-centric financial solutions, geared towards assisting clients to achieve their goals.
“The bank has forged partnerships with local and international players to provide more affordable financing to individual and business clients; while deepening its relationships with existing clients, especially as they sought to navigate the pandemic and their changing financial needs. In keeping with financial inclusion as a key strategic imperative of the subsidiary, as well as the [JMMB] Group, this saw us improving our loan adjudication process for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporate clients, and simplifying the account-opening process for retail clients,” Smalling revealed.
These moves, in part, have resulted in its loan portfolio growing in key areas namely business loans, car loans and home financing – mortgages and home equity loans.
The bank exec also lauded his team for their commitment and stellar work in serving clients and helping them to achieve their goals, as in so doing this has allowed JMMB Bank to continue on a solid growth path.
JMMB Bank eyes growth in mortgages & SME business
In keeping with its strategic direction during this financial year, JMMB Bank is eyeing further growth in its portfolios, with specific focus on mortgages and the SME business line.
The bank will also continue to build out its offerings to compete in the corporate segments, by adding value to those clients and catering to their unmet needs.
“Homeownership remains a priority for many Jamaicans and with the boom in the construction sector, JMMB Bank is looking to serve this sector in a fulsome way, by providing both mortgage solutions to individuals, while also financing construction projects, at competitive rates. Furthermore, the bank has been actively deepening its client intimacy in serving SME clients with its customised suite of solutions, while nurturing their growth through its Resource Centre,” the JMMB Bank CEO said.
“As evidence of this, we have signed an agreement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which will see us offering special loan terms for women entrepreneurs, building on our existing JMMB Her Wealth solution. Additionally, through our year-long agreement with the EXIM Bank (National Export-Import Bank of Jamaica), SMEs involved in exportation and its value chain, will have easier access to funding, at more affordable rates. We have also entered into an agreement with Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) Limited and IMCA Jamaica Limited to offer special financing terms on a range of commercial equipment, for small and medium-sized businesses, respectively,” Smalling continued.
“These partnerships are complemented by the innovative solutions that we are seeking to offer to our clients, such as reverse factoring, in conjunction with the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), along with other innovative funding solutions,” Smalling contended further.
As clients’ needs and behaviours change, JMMB Bank will continue to build out its digital support, having earlier this year upgraded its fleet of automated teller machines (ATMs), thereby improving convenience and improved client experience, while bolstering operational efficiency.
The Bank is targeting introduction of online client onboarding and loan application, which will facilitate even greater access to its suite of offerings, and greater convenience for clients.
The JMMB Bank CEO shared that it has also expanded its corporate team to further support the productive sector.
“We have designed an integrated approach that will allow us to better cater to the holistic needs of those clients, with the suite of offerings from the group, including cash management, foreign exchange trading, investment management, insurance brokerage and pension planning,” said Smalling.
JMMB Group grows banking business line
Overall, the JMMB Group has reaped tangible benefits from its banking business line, across the region, having added 30 per cent or J$1.96 billion, to JMMB Group’s J$4.87 billion profit (before tax), for the financial year ending March 31, 2019. In the Dominican Republic, banking operations saw loan growth of 54 per cent or J$5.85B, against its industry growth rate of two per cent.
This business line remains a key area of strategic growth for the group, as articulated by Group CEO, Keith Duncan, who outlined that the JMMB Group is seeking to further leverage its diversification strategy, to drive its profitability and shareholder value.
He also revealed that the company has an active pipeline of acquisitions that it is exploring, with prioritisation being given to the banking business line, in keeping with the group’s strategy to grow inorganically.