NBS drops interest rates following gov’t approval for increase in borrowing ceiling
Distinguished already for its low-interest rate on mortgagees, the New Building Society (NBS) Ltd on Wednesday announced that in keeping with its trend over the years, it has further reduced its interest rates.
It came as the Government of Guyana, in keeping with measures outlined in the 2021 National Budget, handed over the approval for an increase in the current loan ceiling from $12 million to $15 million. At a symbolic ceremony at the Arthur Chung Conference Center (ACCC), NBS Board Chairman, Floyd McDonald, received the approval from Senior Minister with responsibility for Finance, Dr Ashni Singh.
McDonald said NBS was happy to have the ceiling increased as it continues to provide affordable financing to Guyanese homeowners. It was McDonald who announced the reduction in interest.
According to the Board Chairman, persons seeking loans up to $6 million will now pay interest rates at four per cent annually, down from 4.25 per cent. Those homeowners, who are seeking loans up to $12 million, will pay interest in the sum of 5.95 per cent while persons seeking loans up to $15 million will pay interest of 6.25 per cent.
While this will see NBS’ annual income reduced, the Chairman said the institution was happy to support the government in this regard. Delivering remarks, Dr Singh congratulated NBS and said all stakeholders in the housing sector must be recognised for their individual role in building thriving communities.
Dr Singh said the government has facilitated this by ensuring measures, such as this increase, aimed at encouraging greater homeownership.
“I want to congratulate NBS for the remarkable role they’ve placed over the years in homeownership,” he said.
Dr Singh recalled that in 1992, with the prevailing macro-economic conditions in the country at the time, NBS’ interest rates stood at 18 per cent. He also pointed out that in 1991, NBS gave 125 new loans to Guyanese; that number has increased over the years while the interest rates were simultaneously reduced.
The institution gave out some 400 loans in 2020, although a reduction from previous years, but it was done in the middle of a global pandemic and amidst a five-month-long electoral stalemate.
Meanwhile, Ministers of Housing and Water, Collin Croal and Susan Rodrigues were present at the event. Croal said the collaboration signals the government’s deep underlying intention of ensuring that it brings greater relief to Guyanese homeowners and potential borrowers.