Northern Banking

June 11, 2009 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s central bank said banks have been given the nod to open 67 new outlets in the last three weeks in the north of the island after the area was freed of Tamil Tigers. “This trend of banking expansion in the Northern Province is expected to grow with the resettlement of the displaced persons, the Central Bank said in a statement.

The regulator said plans to implement a micro-finance scheme to make funds available for entrepreneurs in the newly freed Northern Province will speed-up development.

“The resulting expansion in business will strengthen the financial position of the banks as well,” the Central Bank said.

State owned Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank are the only two commercial banks offering regular banking services in former Tamil Tiger controlled areas.

Government forces last month ended the 25-year ethnic war by cornering Tiger remnants in the north east and wiping out its top leadership.