Banking Reach

Apr 15, 2010 (LBO) – Commercial banks are opening branches in Sri Lanka’s former war zone in the north and east and are also ready to increase lending to the region, the Central Bank said. “Several licensed banks are showing keen interest to facilitate economic activities in the Northern and Eastern provinces,” it said in a statement.

Commercial Bank, Hatton National Bank, National Savings Bank, People’s Bank, Sampath Bank and Seylan Bank plan to open branches in 11 towns in the north and east over the next few months, it said.

“Necessary approvals for this purpose have been granted by the Central Bank,” the statement said.

Licensed banks currently operating in the northern and eastern provinces have also committed to grant new credit facilities amounting to 56 billion rupees in 2010 and 70 billion rupees in 2011 in these two provinces, it said.

Economic activity in the north and east has begun to revive with the end of the island’s 30-year ethnic conflict in May 2009.