The Bank of Jamaica, BOJ, is developing a central electronic database with Know Your Customer, KYC, information, aimed at making it easier for clients to switch banks.

Addressing the BOJ’s Quarterly Monetary Policy Press Conference on Tuesday, governor, Richard Byles, disclosed that 60 per cent of deposits reside in two of Jamaica’s 11 deposit-taking institutions.

He underscored that competition can be created by introducing new players in the sector or making it easier for customers of any bank to move their account.

Mr. Byles says, at present, opening an account is a difficult and lengthy process due to the anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism, AML/CFT, policies in place.

He says a benefit of the central database will be that if a customer feels they are not getting a good rate or good service at one bank, they can move quickly and easily.

He says the BOJ hopes to have the database in effect within 18 to 24 months.

He informed that the World Bank is working with the BOJ, but notes it’s going to take a lot of cooperation between them and the commercial banks.

Mr. Byles says the aim is to have commercial banks take all of its data on every customer, and there are hundreds of thousands of customers, and put that data into the central depository.

The BOJ governor in a bid to assure banks that customers’ data will be safe, secure, accessible and not open to cyberattacks says any central depository will have to be like Fort Knox.