Current Affairs

Current Affairs




Financial sector thriving

Jamaica Gleaner
Wednesday, September 25, 2002

The Bank of Jamaica building - file

THE ASSET base of the island's six commercial banks totalled just over $257.6 billion as at June 30, this year, with the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) Jamaica taking the biggest slice of the pie with almost $99.6 billion.

The remainder is shared between National Commercial Bank (NCB), which had total assets of $92.7 billion; followed by RBTT Jamaica, which had $32.8 billion; CIBC Jamaica, with $17.9 billion; Citibank NA, which had assets of $10.1 billion, and the Grace, Kennedy & Company controlled First Global Bank, which had a base of $4.3 billion.

According to the unaudited assets and liabilities of commercial banks, published by the Bank of Jamaica (BoJ), total liabilities, including deposits, were $232.2 billion. Deposits in BNS totalled $72 billion, followed by NCB with just under $61.8 billion, RBTT $15.2 billion, CIBC $13.4 billion, Citibank $6.4 billion, and First Global $937.2 million.

The balance sheet showed, however, that NCB was capitalised to the tune of $9.7 billion, marginally better than BNS' $9.1 billion excess of assets over liabilities and better than their nearest rival RBTT, which reported a $4.3 billion capital base.

Published recently, the Central Bank report said a proposal put forward last year to amalgamate selected areas of the Caribbean operations of CIBC Canada and Barclays of the United Kingdom, was being assessed by and was subject to the final recommendation of the respective Caribbean regulators.

It also published the leading indicators of commercial banks, licencees under the Financial Institutions Act and Building Societies, showing that the total assets of commercial banks, including contingent liabilities, grew by about $37 billion during the year to June 2002. Deposits grew by about $19 billion to $169.9 billion during the period.

The BoJ report showed that the rate of past due loans to commercial banks exceeding three months declined to almost $2.8 billion from just under $3.6 billion last year.

The capital base of building societies improved from $3.6 billion two years ago to $4.9 billion at the end of June 2002. The BoJ report noted that significant improvement in the statutory capital base of building societies reflected in the data for 2000, was influenced by the exclusion of the capital impairment amassed by the Financial Sector Adjustment Company (FINSAC) intervened entities, which merged at the end of April 1999 and ceased operations at the end of September 1999.

The BoJ also reported the unaudited assets and liabilities of building societies, showing that Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) led the way in terms of total assets, liabilities and capital. For the period to June 30, JNBS had an asset base of $24.8 billion, liabilities of just under $21.6 billion and a capital base of $3.2 billion.

Its nearest rival was Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS), with assets of almost $21.2 billion, liabilities of $19.2 billion and a capital base of just under $2 billion. Scotia Jamaica Building Society (SJBS), a subsidiary of BNS, had assets of just under $6 billion, liabilities of some $4.9 billion and $1.1 billion in capital. CIBC Building Society had total assets of $1.1 billion, liabilities of about $931.4 million and a capital base of $180.9 million.

For the other licencees under the Financial Institutions Act, Capital & Credit Merchant Bank led the field with total assets of $13.5 billion, followed by Manufacturers Sigma Merchant Bank with just over $3 billion, CIBC Trust & Merchant Bank and Citimerchant Bank with $2.2 billion each, George & Branday with $1.6 billion, Pan-Caribbean Merchant Bank with total assets of $1.3 billion, Scotia Trust $1.1 billion, International Trust & Merchant Bank $984.8 million, MF&G Trust and Finance with $801.4 million, Issa Trust & Merchant Bank which has assets of $588.8 million, and DB&G Merchant Bank with $86.8 million.