Practical Life in Kingston

Bank services in Kingston

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There are 6 commercial banks, 3 building societies and 2 merchant banks licensed to operate in Jamaica. The commercial banks manage about USD9 BN in assets. The statutory Liquidity to deposit ratio requirement is 26%; on average the actual liquidity ratio is 32% for commercial banks (BOJ data).

To open a personal bank account, typically requirements include minimum balance, valid picture ID, two references and you must come into the bank branch to get this done. With regards to references, some banks allow for referrals from another account holder. For the foreigner, reference from existing bank in domicile country will do. For business accounts there are other requirements, including certificate of business registration.

Banks in Jamaica typically do not open on weekends. At the same time, routine stuff such as withdrawals or transfer can be done without going into a bank. In fact, the banks are interested in driving more customers to use out branch facilities, including online and mobile banking. For some services that incur fees in branch, there is no fee using online facilities (e.g., electronic bill payments or pay contractors or employees using ACH platform).

Banks are supervised by the Bank of Jamaica; that is, among other things, the BOJ sets and monitors prudential standards and solvency criteria for financial institutions.

Update 13/02/2016


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