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Victoria Mutual Turns 135!

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The year 2013 is a significant year for Victoria Mutual Florida Representative Office, and its parent organisation, the Victoria Mutual Building Society, as it marks the 5th and 135th anniversary of providing active service and financial solutions for Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora with offices in the United States of America (USA), Canada and the United Kingdom.
To mark this noteworthy milestone, the Victoria Mutual family will join in fellowship and celebration in a Church Service, scheduled to be held at the Christ Way Baptist Church, 3800 S Douglas Road, Miramar FL 33025, on Sunday, December 8, 2013: at 9:00 a.m. Refreshments will be provided and is sponsored in part by Grace Foods, another distinguished Jamaican company.
The Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) headquartered in Jamaica, began operations on November 14, 1878 and came together with the shared vision of building a Mutual financial institution that would enable Jamaicans, who would not otherwise have access to financing, to become proud homeowners by pooling their savings. One hundred and thirty five years later, they celebrate the realization of that vision, having helped countless Jamaican men and women achieve financial independence, through home ownership.
According to Richard Powell, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Victoria Mutual Group, the organisation sees the financial security of its Members as its primary focus and believes that home ownership offers the best prospect for achieving this.
“Victoria Mutual remains committed to operating in the tradition of our founders, as a Mutual organization, owned by and operated for the benefit of its Members. Our founders had the shared vision of building a Mutual financial institution that would enable Jamaicans, who would not otherwise have access to financing, to become proud homeowners by pooling their savings,” Powell said.
This vision has also manifested outside of Jamaica, as far back as 1981, Victoria Mutual led the way as a pioneer in establishing meaningful relationships with Jamaicans in the Diaspora. The first VMBS overseas Offices were established in the United Kingdom followed by Canada and now the United States of America. These “service bureaus”,  as they were called back then, were designed to facilitate savings and mortgage loans for migrants who wished to return to Jamaica.
Today, Victoria Mutual is one of the leading financial institutions in Jamaica, and its Group Asset base both off and on balance sheet stands in excess of J$102 Billion. This is due in part to the over 600 Team Members across the branch and Representative Office network, offering excellent customer service to both internal and external stakeholders who wish to invest in savings, mortgages, real estate services, security trading and brokerage, asset and pension management, and money transfer services.
Despite the global economic challenges, Victoria Mutual has continued in its expansion of benefits to its Members, and now offers low mortgage rates of 9.29%p.a. and 6.85%p.a., on both Jamaican and Foreign Currency mortgages, respectively. In addition, the Society recently launched its VM Express online, so that Members may manage their finances, pay bills, as well as transfer funds between VM accounts.
According to Suzette D. Rochester, Manager, Victoria Mutual Florida Representative Office, “having received our non-banking license from the Office of Financial Regulation to operate in the State of Florida on December 11, 2008, we are indeed grateful to our Members that have stayed the course these past five years. In addition, we are committed to our Members to continue to offer the most attractive savings and mortgage options that will afford them a truly exciting and memorable customer experience at Victoria Mutual”.
Over the years, the Society has not only provided mortgages to its Members, but has also made significant and worthwhile contributions towards health, education, and nation building to various Groups in the Diaspora, such as the Alumni Associations, Churches and Civic Organisations, as well the Jamaican Consulates.
As Jamaica is poised to be the “place of choice to live, work and raise your families by 2030”, Victoria Mutual has sought to engage the Diaspora in community development by providing avenues for the dissemination of first hand information at various fora relating to the National Debt Exchange and its Impact, as well as Crime Management Initiatives in Jamaica, the bi-annual Jamaica Diaspora Conferences, as well as Financial Empowerment Workshops.

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