JN Bank has become the first Caribbean-owned bank to be launched in London, following the granting of a license by UK regulatory authorities. The bank is entirely owned by the Jamaica National Group (JN Group), a member-based conglomerate that has been operating in the Caribbean and elsewhere for more than 145 years.
As part of its operations, the bank will initially offer retail savings and personal loan products targeting the Caribbean community and the wider UK market. The Chief Executive of Jamaica National Group, Earl Jarrett, expressed delight for being the first Caribbean bank to be licensed by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to operate in the UK.
“JN Group is already well-known among the Caribbean community in the UK, and has provided a financial link for the last 32 years with the mission to serve the community and place the interest of our members at the heart of what we do,” said Jarrett.
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He continued: “By offering banking services via digital channels that are safe, easy to use and understand, we are really looking forward to expanding our customer base to the wider UK market. With a 146-year-old heritage and strong mutual values, we are bringing JN’s ethos and focus on the people it serves to offer UK customers something different from the typical new challenger bank.”
The bank plans to open its first branch in Brixton, South London, although it is adopting a digital-first approach. “At launch, we will offer accessible products, and of course a warm and welcoming service,” the bank’s chairman Ian Marshall said. “We are confident that JN bank, through its espoused values of fairness and mutual respect, will provide services that all people can trust. We will continue our long history of adding value to the lives of our customers.”
The JN Group has been serving Caribbeans in the diaspora, especially in the UK, USA and Canada for over 30 years. It provides financial links for the Caribbean communities in these countries. Also, it provides help to the Caribbean community through education and sustainable development programs.
The CEO of the Bank, Dean Fensome, noted that the bank aligns with three sustainable development goals: quality education, sustainable cities and communities, and partnership for goals.
“We intend to give back to the community primarily through the provision of scholarships and bursaries for tertiary education and the branch will be made available for community activities, workshops and seminars. We are excited to bring these values and behaviours to the UK and recognize the different financial needs of the population,” he said.
According to the Deputy Managing Director of the bank, Paulette Simpson, “JN made a commitment to the UK 32 years ago – to serve our members efficiently and support our communities.”
“We have built strong ties with so many community organisations, institutions and leaders and the establishment of this new entity will further strengthen our commitment to the UK market,” he added.