Winner: National Commercial Bank
Defending a national champion
National Commercial Bank of Jamaica (NCBJ) is the country’s biggest financial services
company by loans and assets, and its performance in the first half of this year has cemented its
leadership of the industry.
But the bank isn’t resting on its laurels. Through investments in technology, it plans to keep
ahead of both its traditional banking rivals and fintech newcomers.
NCBJ, the winner of the LatinFinance award for Bank of the year – Jamaica, has the island’s
biggest loan book, its largest asset base, and it is also number one in deposits as well as
payments, both issuing and acquiring.
And the bank almost doubled its profits during the first half of the year compared to the same
period in 2021 as assets and deposits experienced double-digit growth.
“We have been a leader in financial services in Jamaica for a while and we intend to extend
that period,” says CEO Bob Blake. “For all meaningful segments, I would say that we have a
significant market share.”
NCBJ has also made headway in terms of digitalization. Blake says the bank is building the
foundations for open banking and open finance and is evaluating opportunities in cloud
banking and a potential migration to public cloud services.
The bank has already revamped both its digital and physical operations. It has migrated 97%
of transactions to digital channels, and it posted a 35% increase in digital sales in the first half.
“We want a branch space to be a space for engagement and a space for selling the more
complex products, such as mortgages and small business loans. And this has borne fruits,” the
Meanwhile, the lender is getting ready to face the threat to its revenue streams posed by
fintechs in an increasingly competitive operating environment.