Better Rates

June 13, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank is offering a rate of 12.5 percent a year for savings deposits which maintain a balance of more than 50,000 rupees, the bank said. The savings deposit scheme branded ‘Hit Saver’ gives an annual effective rate of 13.24 percent, the bank said in a statement Friday.

The new account permits unlimited withdrawals and automated teller machine facilities.

The bank also has other accounts which give extra interest when only a few withdrawals are made.

Sampath’s head of marketing Tharaka Ranwala said in the statement that the new savings deposit pays the highest interest available in the market.

Sri Lanka’s banking sector has been paying extremely low interest rates of around 5.0 percent with inflation running at the highest in the country’s history of close to 30 percent resulting in large losses to small savers especially in rural areas.

However fixed deposit rates have been higher, especially in privately owned commercial banks which are frequented by economically literate city dwellers.

The island’s private sector banks are leading the way in giving better returns to savers.

Commercial Bank of Ceylon