Expanding Reach

June 22, 2011 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Regional Development Bank has established a presence in the island’s former northern war zone by opening its first branch in Vavuniya. It aims to accelerate economic activity in the region focusing on the small and medium enterprises, agriculture sector and tourism.

We are mainly looking at providing facilities to build small and medium businesses, the agriculture sector and tourism in the region, said Janaki Kurrupu, chairman of the RBD, formed last year by merging the island’s regional development banks.

I can see all other private banks have moved to the area but we differentiate ourselves by using regional money for regional development, she said.

The RDB was formed in July last year by amalgamating six regional banks in the island’s Rajarata, Ruhuna, Wayamba, Uva, Kadurata and Sabaragamuwa regions in to a single entity with the aim of getting access to foreign funds and lend in the former north-east war zone.

The amalgamated bank ventured in to the East in February 2011 by opening a branch in Batticaloa.

Several branches including one in Ampara were operated under the Uva regional bank