Jamaica Money Market Brokers Bank has entered into an agreement with the investment arm of the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, through which it can access US$35 million for the financing for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
In addition to the US$35-million loan that the regional institution will provide up-front, it will also mobilise an additional loan of US$35 million by from international banks over the next five years, the lifetime of the loan.
“At IDB Invest, we are pleased to close this transaction with JMMB Bank. This operation will allow small and medium-sized enterprises in Jamaica to have greater access to financing, which makes me proud as this is part of our commitment to strengthen and support the increase in credit financing for SME within the Caribbean region by generating more jobs and promoting their development,” James Scriven, CEO of IDB Invest, said in a release.
While providing SMEs with a new avenue for financing, the loan project will also boost JMMB Bank’s capacity to provide long-term financing that supports the growth of SMEs while contributing to the maturity and structure of its debt profile.
“It will also enhance the diversification of its funding sources, decreasing the dependence of shorter-term deposits, which will augur to the benefit of SME,” a release from IDB Invest outlined.
In commenting on the agreement, Jerome Smalling, CEO and executive director of JMMB Bank, said, “This partnership underscores our commitment to assist SME to scale and grow their businesses by providing holistic solutions to support them throughout their business life cycle, as we recognise that access to affordable financial solutions play a key role in business operation and growth.”
He stated further that JMMB Bank believes that this subsector has tremendous growth potential and, in leveraging further support to the SMEs, the company is seeking to play its part in helping them realise their full potential and contribute even more to the country’s development.
Though Jamaican SMEs contributes to employment by generating 80 per cent of jobs, they still face the challenge of accessing to finance through traditional channels. It is for this very reason that JMMB Bank created its SME Resource Centre.
“Our SME Resource Centre ensures that you are prepared to access JMMB’s banking, investment and insurance brokerage services, with our business planning expertise. The centre provides customised advice to take your business to the next level,” the financial institution’s website reads.
“This operation will allow small and medium-sized enterprises in Jamaica to have greater access to financing”— James Scriven, CEO, IDB Invest
Though the centre, JMMB Bank helps SMEs improve operational efficiency, lend expertise, and access resources, which lead to the businesses growing to the next stage of their life cycle. It provides coaching and a range of advisory services, including marketing, taxation, accounting, business plan writing, and other general financial management and back-office support, with the assistance of its partners and other organisations.
Whereas IDB Invest’s main goal will be to improve access to financing for SMEs, the regional institution will support the bank in developing and implementing an environmental and social management system. Furthermore, IDB Invest will provide advisory services to bolster internal capacity and an action plan to ensure that JMMB Bank’s human capital strategy attracts and retains the best talent pool.
On this note, Therese Turner-Jones, general manager for IDB’s Caribbean Country Group and Jamaica’s country representative expressed her support for the collaboration between JMMB Bank and IDB Invest.
“We are very proud to partner with JMMB — especially given their culture of inclusion, working especially with women and women entrepreneurs. Given the continued challenges being faced by SME during this COVID pandemic, this support will give the sector a greater level of buoyancy and help improve the livelihoods of many Jamaicans and their families who are experiencing untold hardship,” she said.
The agreement, moreover, underscores the strong creditworthiness and capacity of JMMB Bank, which has been supported by its solid and stable financial performance.