Jamaican banks worst in region

Commercial banks in Jamaica ranked
the worst for lending and saving amongst Caribbean nations surveyed in a new
World Bank report on access to financing.

When compared with 11 regional
counterparts, the Jamaica institutions had the lowest lending and saving
portfolios for its population size while Anguilla topped the list. The report
— entitled Financial Access 2010, the State of Financial Inclusion Through the
Crisis — compiled data on over 100 countries, including Caribbean nations.
Barbados and Trinidad & Tobago were notably absent, but larger Hispanic
neighbours were included. The report was done by the World Bank group in conjunction
with Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP).

The methodology to measure
financial access included comparing deposits and loans with the size of the
adult population; the GDP and per capita income. The World Bank data when
ranked by the Business Observer found that banks operating in Jamaica were
lowest in five of the six categories.

* The number of loan accounts per
1,000 adults was lowest in Jamaica at 201.7. This is below Dominica at 219.4,
the Dominican Republic at 245.1, Monsterrat at 246.5, St Vincent and the
Grenadines at 256.8, Grenada at 355.9, St Lucia at 373.3, Antigua at 579.8, St
Kitts at 663.7, and Anguilla at 790.8.

* Loans as a value of GDP was also
lowest in Jamaica at 19.4 per cent. This is below the Dominican Republic at
19.5 per cent , Puerto Rico at 69.2 per cent, St Vincent and the Grenadines at
75.7 per cent, Dominica at 78.7 per cent, Antigua at 95.2 per cent, Grenada at
112.7 per cent, St Lucia at 143.4 per cent, and St Kitts at 158 per cent.

* Average loans as a percentage of
per capita income was lowest in the Dominican Republic at 116.9 per cent, followed
by Jamaica at 137 per cent, St Kitts at 224 per cent, St Vincent and the Grenadines
at 395.7 per cent, Grenada at 405.2 per cent, Dominica at 440.9 per cent, and
St Lucia at 524 per cent.

* The number of bank deposits per
1,000 adults was lowest in Jamaica at 1150, followed by Puerto Rico at 1,300,
St Vincent at 1,691, St Lucia at 2,505, Grenada at 2,556, Antigua at 2,972,
Monsterrat at 3,680, St Kitts at 4,367 and Anguilla at 4,427.

* Deposits as a percentage of GDP
was lowest in Jamaica at 27 per cent, followed by Dominica Republic at 28 per
cent, St Vincent and the Grenadines at 88 per cent, Antigua at 104.2 per cent,
St Lucia at 122 per cent, Dominica at 130.2 per cent, Grenada at 135 per cent,
and St Kitts at 204.2 per cent.

* Deposits as a percentage of per
capita income was lowest in Jamaica at 33.5 per cent, followed by Antigua at
47.9 per cent, St Lucia at 66.6 per cent, St Vincent and the Grenadines at 71.9
per cent, Grenada at 73.7 per cent, St Kitts at 77.7 per cent, and Dominica at
107.2 per cent.

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