Governor of the Bank of Jamaica Richard Byles is embaracing the mandate of financial inclusion, which he deems as necessary in assisting the Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector to grow and develop.
“From our point of view, financial inclusion is the main effort that we are making to give assistance to the small business sector and what that means is that we have the responsibility to find ways and means to get more people, who are outside of the formal banking sector, included in the banking sector,” he said.
Byles at a press briefing recently held at the Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) said that this objective of financial inclusion will help to lay a track record for banks in committing to give credit to small businesses.
He also suggested the need for these SMEs to be more compliant while the banks on the other hand should provide more simplified approaches for them to do so. He gave an example by using the experiences of his personal barber to make the case that in order for any real change to be effected in this regard, banks and small businesses must work together.
“The barber that I go to, he has a credit card machine and he encourages as many people as possible to swipe on the machine so that at the bank he has a record of what his revenue is like; so that when he goes to apply for a loan he can point to that and say, here is my revenue, but he can’t do that unless he can meet all of the requirements to open an account,” he said.
He continued in saying that the bank’s job, including the central bank, is to look at all the requirements to see how best they can make them as appropriate as possible to small businesses, as ways and means must be found to include them in the financial sector.
“A credit card may be a kind of small to medium guard, maybe a cash payment card is more appropriate for others. Whatever it is; we need to make that system possible for more and more people to become part of the sector,” he stated.