Welcome all to this Jamaica Deposit Insurance Corporation (JDIC) Public Forum and Fair. We welcome as well all those listening in through our outside broadcast. We are bringing this Forum to you under the theme of “Empowering Today’s Financial Consumers for the Future”. Our partners in this are the Bank of Jamaica, the Financial Services Commission, the Jamaica Stock Exchange and the Consumer Affairs Commission.
This is JDIC’s 20th year of operations in the provision of protection for deposits within our banking system; in commercial banks, merchant banks and building societies that are regulated by the Bank of Jamaica. JDIC has 20 years of guaranteeing your deposits, if your bank or building society fails, becomes insolvent and cannot pay your depositors.
Over the years our Public Forums have been one of the tools JDIC has used for educating and informing the public of how they are protected within the banking system. We use these opportunities to keep you informed of the protections JDIC offers depositors; what is protected; the extent of that protection and to validate/assure you how we have kept up with international standards for providing this protection to bolster your confidence in the financial system.
20 years in, a lot has changed as to how you do your banking business and acquire other financial services, and there are more changes on the way as the technology evolves. We can now carry out banking activities and transfer money and pay our bills on our mobile phones. We can purchase goods and services with debit and credit cards and other stored value cards. This is how it will become more and more. In the future merchants will not require cash from you, but cards that
store value. It is easier for them to handle and there are no security issues either for the consumer or the merchant side, which comes with handling cash. We can now do our basic banking in kiosks, supermarkets and other banking agent outlets.
How and where we borrow from is changing as well. The sources from which we can borrow for personal use and investing in business projects are widening for us and we are adopting methods that are becoming more common worldwide. The Microcredit Act will shortly be passed to ensure that the channels for borrowing are widened and made available to more consumers, while at the same time remaining fair and safe for consumers to use.
Laws such as the Security Interest in Personal Property Act (SIPPA) have been put in place to allow for widening the types of collateral you can use. So one does not only have to own land to use as collateral. Your personal property including farm animals and agricultural produce can be used.
Our stock market has experienced growth that has made our Stock Exchange the best performance, in the world. The Government wants to expand that access to all with opportunities for investments in Jamaican infrastructure projects that would be available only for those who would ordinarily have access to our Stock Markets and large investment projects.
Technological changes are worldwide with potential benefits that allow the inclusion of far more persons in the formal economy and who ordinarily would not have access to the benefits of financial services. Therefore, our economy should embrace as many options as possible to allow for competitive forces to keep the costs of borrowings down and the expansion of personal wealth more possible.
In this 20th year of the evolution we see JDIC’s mandate ultimately facilitating the inclusion of the widest breath of our population in the formal financial system and having the protection that you require to confidently, save and carry out all your financial transactions without fear of loss of our monies. We partner on this Forum with as many of the agencies that also impact this mandate because the objectives of JDIC are only part of a whole slate of governmental activities that underpin the objectives of financial inclusion and protection of the financial system.
Welcome partners and presenters, booth-holders which include our banks, building societies and those institutions involved in investment, insurance and pensions and other stakeholders such as the UWI, MIND and UTECH.