A large part of the Lebanese community is unbanked. In fact, 53% of the Lebanese population does not have a bank account according to the latest data from Global Findex 2014, by World Bank Group.
In line with its slogan ‘We speak your language,’ Jammal Trust Bank (JTB) has decided to ‘speak the language’ of those who are unbanked by launching a financial inclusion programme as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative.
The unbanked are categorised as those who do not have bank accounts nor use banking services, and have rarely or have never been to a bank. The most commonly cited reason for not having an account was that accounts are too expensive and they bear high commissions and fees. It is in this spirit that JTB’s latest product ‘Save and Win’ was designed.
JTB became the only bank in Lebanon to promote a prize-linked saving account with no opening fees, no commissions and no minimum deposit amount. ‘Save and Win’ was designed to motivate individuals to continuously save for a rainy day, and give them the opportunity to win numerous prizes through a monthly draw, as they increase their savings.
JTB’s conviction is that financial inclusion contributes to alleviating poverty and to speeding up economic development by integrating the unbanked and needy into the mainstream of economic activity and effectively harnessing their potential contribution to their communities.
Notably, JTB was the first bank in Lebanon to collaborate with an organisation specialised in supporting small and micro businesses with more than $90m in loan grants. JTB is also the only bank in Lebanon that has more than 60% of its branches in rural areas and spread across non-high density communities in order to get closer to its clients.
The bank believes that alleviating social concerns should continue to motivate business development and that constant innovation is what brings together CSR, productivity, performance and profitability for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Furthermore, to educate and bridge the gap between the financial sector and younger unbanked communities, JTB has also launched awareness courses across schools and universities, teaching young students more about the banking sector, ensuring their financial acumen.
JTB invests in those that need it the most because all individuals have the potential to prosper in their own way.