Peace Banking

Jan 25, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lankan banks have opened 25 branches in former war torn areas in the north and the east of the island since the end of an internal conflict, while the Central Bank has given the nod for another 53 branches, an official said. A 30-year war with Tamil Tiger separatists ended in May 2009. By April 2009 there were 89 bank branches in the East and 61 in the north. The East also had 69 bank extension offices and the North 20.

After April the Central Bank had approved 33 branches and 17 extension offices in the East and 45 branches and 51 extension offices in the North, a senior bank official said.

Fifteen mobile units were also given the nod to operate mostly in refugee camps.

Up to now 14 new bank branches and 11 extension offices have been opened in the East and 9 branches and 17 extension offices in the North as well as 15 mobile units.

State-run Peoples Bank with 20 branches in the North and 28 branches in the East has the largest network in former conflict areas while the Bank of Ceylon (BoC), another state bank has 17 branches in the North and another 17 branches in the East.

The banks operated in the area even during war time. The two state banks plan to expand extension offices in the North and E