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VMBS expands to New York

Observer writer

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Over 30,000 members of the Diaspora who are Victoria Mutual Building Society clients in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will now have expanded access to financial services from the Jamaican-based organisation.

Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) has recently secured regulatory approval to open a representative office in New York, United States of America from the Federal Reserve Board and the New York State Department of Financial Services.

The approval of this non-banking licence is a great achievement for the 140-year-old institution which boasts a customer base in more than 70 countries worldwide and currently has a distribution network of 15 branches locally, plus three representative offices in the United Kingdom and one in Florida.

President and CEO of the Victoria Mutual Group Courtney Campbell said, “Jamaicans in the tri-state area account for a significant segment of our portfolio. They are already saving and borrowing with us but the office will be for those who appreciate personal interaction.”

The addition of the New York representative office is in keeping with the group's commitment to delivering the best customer service and value to its members in the Diaspora community, for savings and mortgage loan options.

Concentrations of expatriate Jamaicans are large in a number of cities in the United States, including New York, Buffalo, the Miami metro area and Fort Lauderdale, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa, Baltimore, Washington DC, Houston, Philadelphia, Hartford, Providence, Boston, and Los Angeles. Westchester County, New York, and nearby Stamford, Connecticut, also have significant Jamaican expat communities.

New York City is home to a large Jamaican Diaspora community. The Brooklyn communities are centred along Flatbush, Nostrand and Utica Avenues in the neighbourhoods of Prospect Heights, Lefferts Gardens, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Crown Heights, Canarsie, and Flatlands. Flatbush, Nostrand, and Utica Avenues feature miles of Jamaican cuisine, food markets and other businesses, nightlife and residential enclaves. The Bronx neighbourhoods are Wakefield, Eastchester, and Baychester, while the borough of Queens also has a Jamaican Diaspora presence.

According to Campbell, “In the next coming months the society will announce its plans for an official opening date, as well as announcement of its locations designed to serve its over 30,000 members in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.”