Borrowing Practices

Jan 02, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state-run Bank of Ceylon has loaned nearly 140 billion rupees to customers in former war zones in the North and East and default rates are very low, a top official said. “We are happy to say NPAs (non-performing assets) since the war, in the North and the East taken as an average is about one percent,” outgoing Bank of Ceylon chairman Gamini Wickramasinghe said.

“Sometimes in some branches in the North NPAs are zero percent. You can’t find this kind of thing around the country.

“They have some kind of belief that what they borrow they pay. Even the East was 1.1 percent last year. I do not know the exact number this year.”

A 30-year civil war in the north and east ended in 2009 with the crushing of Tamil Tiger separatists.

Bank of Ceylon and other state-run banks including People’s Bank and National Savings Bank and Rural Banks were operating during the war even in Tamil Tiger controlled territories.

Wickramasinghe said the bank had operated banking outlets in refugee camps to cater to their customers.

Since then close to 140 billion rupees had been loaned, he said. The money had funded large number of small businesses, farmers and fisherme