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Philip Bernard, General Manager, JN Small Business Loans Limited.

Philip Bernard, General Manager, JN Small Business Loans Limited.

In fulfilment of its promise to introduce lower interest yielding loans for clients who have maintained an excellent credit history and strong ties with the company, JN Small Business Loans Limited (JNSBL) has established a Platinum Premium Club for qualifying small business clients who access loans above $501,000.This initiative is the first step in its commitment to use clients’ credit history with the organisation as a basis for determining their risk level, Philip Bernard, General Manager says. A similar programme is to come on board for micro clients in the new financial year.

The loans will be offered at rates for as low as 10 percent per annum, down from 25 percent annually; however, the interest will vary, depending on the type of loan and the sector in which the business is operating, in some instances.

“The funds are being provided through a pool established by JNSBL and its partners the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), National Insurance Fund (NIS), the EXIM Bank, Sagicor Bank and the Micro Investment Development Agency (MIDA), which disburse wholesale funds to the microfinance sector,” Philip Bernard, General Manager, JNSBL disclosed.

Mr. Bernard says the 13-year-old company is positioned to offer lower rates to clients, as more than 70 percent of its borrowers have benefited from in excess of 15 loans.  Premium rates will be offered to clients on a tiered basis depending on the number of small and micro loans the client has had with the institution and the repayment history of that client.

“Our agricultural loans, for example, will be offered at 10 percent down from 15 percent to our premium clients; while our small business loans will be offered at between 10 and 22 percent per annum, depending on the sector the entrepreneur operates in,” Mr. Bernard said. The normal interest on small business loans $501,000 to $3 million is 25 percent.

“Loans financed by the NIF will be offered at 10 percent; and will be available to those businesses operating in the manufacturing, services and agro sectors,” the JNSBL General Manager stated.

Interest on motor vehicle loans will also be reduced from 22 percent on the reducing balance to 14 percent for Premium Clients.

Mr. Bernard stressed that the move to establish the Premium Club, and to offer reduced rates to its long-time clients, was part of its overall strategy to deepen its relationship with the small and micro sector.

“We believe that institutions should be using the relationships they have developed with their clients to make the loan process easier, using their credit history as part of the analysis of their risk; and, ultimately to determine the interest on their loan,” he affirmed.

Speaking to the company’s mandate, Mr. Bernard affirmed that: “We are conscious of the need to help clients maintain business; therefore, we are building relationships that can facilitate them to sustain their operations. And, that means giving entrepreneurs access to cheaper funds; if their pattern of doing business determines that their risk is low.”

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