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Save More to Capitalise on Investments in the Country

Mon 30 Oct, 2017

Maureen Hayden-Cater, Managing Director, JN Bank. 

Maureen Hayden-Cater, managing director, JN Bank says a programme, which influences Jamaicans to save more has to be a critical component of preparing for a future of increased investments in the country.

“The more you save the more you’ll be able to invest,” she said. She was speaking against the background of recent panel discussion hosted by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Jamaica (ICAJ), which discussed investments in Jamaica and the Caribbean. The event was part of the ICAJ’s Business Conference. She was also speaking against the background of World Savings Day, which is being observed today, October 31.

“What we see is that Jamaica has moved along a path of heavy spending,” Mrs Hayden-Cater continued. “It’s not unusual for people to spend every dollar they earn by the end of the month.”

The country’s savings, as a percentage of its gross domestic product (GDP), is somewhere between 19 per cent and 20.5 per cent, according to data from the World Bank and the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA ranks the country at 87 out of 181 countries, in terms of savings.

Although Jamaica is ranked above some developed countries, such as Canada at 98; and Italy at 99, with under 20 per cent of their GDP representing savings; and even the United States ranked at 135, with its gross national savings representing only 14 per cent of its GDP, Mrs Hayden-Cater says, saving more would position Jamaicans to take better advantage of an improving Jamaican economy.

She underscored that: “There are many developments taking place and touted to take place; such as, the development of special economic zones; and in the tourism sector; therefore, Jamaicans will be in a better position to grasp opportunities that may arise from these projects, if they have savings to support them.”

The banker, with more than three decades of experience, says savings are an important tool to access credit, which people need to acquire assets and build wealth.

“Your savings in a financial institution is security, which you can use to access credit; but also, those savings can provide you with a foot print for financial institutions to use when considering how much to lend you,” she advised.

“Therefore, as opportunities emerge, you may need to borrow to purchase the capital to support those opportunities, instead of depleting your savings,” she added, noting that more deposits also position financial institutions to lend for a wider range of purposes.

Those savings, she maintains can continue to earn interest in your account; or can be invested in other instruments, such as securities and bonds, to earn even higher yields.

"And, the opportunities to save and invest aren’t limited to Jamaicans in Jamaica, but includes those living overseas," she said, noting that, Jamaican financial institutions offer a higher rate of return.

However, Mrs Hayden-Cater maintained that in order to increase the country’s saving rate, Jamaicans need to become literate and prudent about financial management; and, at the same time, financial institutions, must take their role as educators seriously.

“It’s not a job for government alone. In fact, the financial sector needs to lead the cause,” she stressed, pointing to JN Bank’s financial literacy programme implemented through the JN Foundation to assist members with managing their lifestyle.

“And we could begin by assisting more persons to become confident with the services that financial institutions provide. If they are going to commit to save; then, they must feel empowered to do so,” she said.

“They have to be able to bank on us,” she emphasised.    

 

 

 THE JAMAICA NATIONAL GROUP  

The Jamaica National Group Limited (JN Group) represents one of Jamaica’s most recognisable brands, with more than 14 decades of history in Jamaica and overseas. The JN Group, which retains the mutuality of its predecessor, the Jamaica National Building Society comprises:

  • JN Financial Group, with subsidiaries offering a range of financial services, including commercial banking, insurance, investments and remittances
  • MCS Group, with subsidiaries offering technology, creative and fleet management services
  • JN Foundation, one of the leading corporate foundations in Jamaica

The JN Group is committed to the success and growth of its members while using business as a force for good so that, together, we can improve the outcome of Jamaicans wherever they may reside.

JN BANK

On February 1, 2017, the 143-year old Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) was converted to JN Bank, becoming one of the three top commercial banks in Jamaica.  JN Bank is a subsidiary of The Jamaica National Group. It is dedicated to the financial growth and success of its members and customers and committed to high quality service, innovative solutions and low fees. Visit www.jnbank.com for more information.