By Christ Patterson
KINGSTON, Jamaica (JIS) – The government is seeking to privatise the Jamaica Mortgage Bank (JMB), says minister without portfolio in the ministry of economic growth and job creation, Everald Warmington.
The privatisation will allow the JMB to provide funds to the government, deepen the financial mortgage market, widen the base of the ownership of the bank, and assist the JMB to better achieve its strategic objectives, which may lead to eventual expansion of its current product offerings.
Providing details during his contribution to the 2022/23 sectoral debate in the House of Representatives, recently, Warmington said a cabinet submission has been drafted and consultation has been undertaken with the attorney general’s chambers, the ministry of finance and other stakeholders in a bid to finalise the recommendations.
Warmington said it is anticipated that the cabinet submission will be finalised in the 2022/2023 financial year. He noted that despite the impact of the COVID pandemic, the bank performed admirably under the circumstances and in some instances exceeded expectations.
“In fact, for the first time, the Jamaica Mortgage Bank has generated over $500 million of total income,” he disclosed. The bank currently manages and funds 20 housing projects islandwide at a value of $8.8 billion and completed five projects during the 2021/2022 fiscal year.
The JMB was established with the mandate to finance safe and affordable housing, so that all Jamaicans will have access to homeownership.
It seeks to mobilise financial resources for on-lending to private- and public-sector developers and financial institutions, developing an active secondary mortgage market and providing mortgage indemnity insurance.