Feb 12, 2010 JAFFNA (LBO) – A branch of HSBC which opened in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna peninsular will strengthen financial ties with the rest of the country and the world as the area recovers from a debilitating war, officials said.
A 30-year war with Tamil Tiger separatists Sri Lanka’s north and east ended in May.
During the war years tens of thousands of residents in the north and the eastern areas migrated abroad forming a diaspora that still maintain links with family members here.
“A decades long conflict is now behind us,” Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said after opening HSBC branch in Jaffna, the first by a foreign owned bank.
“We believe the too diaspora can play an active part in the development process. They can be an important influence to accelerate investment to these areas and thereby support he expansion of industrial activity and tourism.”
HSBC which has a 15 branch network in the rest of the country has been in Sri Lanka since 1884. The group also had a presence in Jaffna from 1959 through an affiliate, Mercantile Bank, which it exited in 1973 as Sri Lanka tightened economic controls.
“We will connect Sri Lanka’s diaspora living in the UK and Canada so that we can handle both sides: remitt