Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) says it is managing to keep its non-performing loans under control while exhibiting the capability of keeping its credit quality in check, especially given the economic fallout caused by the novel coronavirus.
VMBS Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Building Society Operations Peter Reid declared that the resilience of the building society manifested itself in managing to maintain good credit quality during the pandemic while preventing its loan portfolio from ballooning. Speaking at a recent Jamaica Observer Business Forum, Reid said that VMBS’s non-performing loans (NPL) were kept under 3 per cent of the total loan portfolio, which was well within regulatory guidelines and even within its own company benchmark.
When Reid was asked for a specific figure on the NPL out-turn he was hesitant to divulge citing the fact that the company’s latest audited quarterly report is still in progress and will be released shortly. He explained that the loan quality was also kept tight due to extreme vigilance and the help provided to customers, whose mortgages were threatened by the negative effects of COVID-19.
STRONG TAKE-UP OF MORATORIUM
Reid disclosed that in Jamaica some 200 VMBS mortgagers applied for moratorium to prevent their loans from going bad, explaining that this and other initiatives were extended to customers to assist them in overcoming the negative effects of the pandemic.
VMBS President Courtney Campbell announced that during 2020 the building society achieved record mortgage and loan disbursements.
However, he declined to speak in much details about the record disbursement, saying the March 2021 audited results have not been released. On the matter of the NPL, the VMBS president, who also spoke at the Observer Business Forum, credited the entire team for the achievement of keeping this in check in a difficult period.
Campbell advised that VMBS ended 2020 in a stronger position, having invested heavily in technology in order to pivot more online and digitally, resulting in the building society now offering online membership application, online mortgage application and attaining a successful online migration of many business operations.
The VMBS president also spoke about the increased customer and staff engagement taking place at VMBS, in particular its highly popular digital town hall, the first staging, which took place on March 31, 2020, was followed by three others. He remarked that, “The town hall was a transparent way of sharing information with team members, which was a higher level of engagement.”