In a bid to enhance growth opportunities for Agricultural Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), Sri Lanka’s most customer-friendly bank HNB PLC, launched the Micro Leasing facility anchored to a myriad of benefits and opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Working in line with initiatives drawn by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to strengthen the sector, HNB will ensure customers can further enhance their entrepreneurial capabilities. The facility will also provide customers access to an extensive range of deals and benefits from the bank’s wide portfolio of merchant partners.
“For Sri Lanka to achieve long term sustainable growth, it is vital that we empower the MSME sector, which contributes an estimated 52% to the GDP. As the regulator, we believe this can be done by equipping our entrepreneurs with the necessary capital while simultaneously improving their financial literacy.
“Therefore, I wish to thank HNB for the initiatives taken over the past few years through the Gami Pubuduwa campaign and for launching this facility, which will provide entrepreneurs with the opportunity to grow their businesses in a sustainable manner,” CBSL Assistant Governor J. P. R. Karunaratne stated.
Working through its 175 strong microfinance officers stationed across the country’s grassroots, HNB has facilitated growth in the sector through its Gami Pubuduwa initiative. The bank will lend the same support for its leasing customers by organising curated sessions to enhance value chain development and capacity building skills in collaboration with skills development organisations.
Additionally, customers can use the bank’s flexible payment schemes, customised to their repayment capabilities.
HNB Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer Dilshan Rodrigo, speaking at the event, said: “This is indeed a very proud moment for us as we are unveiling a new product for the agriculture sector. HNB has worked with over 10,000 MSME customers through the Gami Pubuduwa initiative and we hope to expand this supportive network to others through this new facility.
“We are looking forward to supporting and enhancing the capabilities of businesses affected by the pandemic and those created because of it by facilitating a common platform for our corporate clientele and the medium and small rural customers to establish and foster supply chains for an export-oriented economy. We are delighted to be launching this facility and hope to see our customers make use of this opportunity to grow their businesses during these challenging times.”
Notably, the bank will on-board all customers using the facility on its digital platforms such as HNB SOLO, MOMO and Appigo, improving the availability of convenient payment solutions in the sector. Furthermore, HNB offers a seamless oneday approval process supported by its state-of-the-art backend systems. Customers availing themselves of the facility are entitled to a free life insurance cover of Rs.4.5 million. The insurance is also anchored to discounted premiums from HNB General Insurance.
Leasing customers will also receive the Prestige Prime credit card free of charge, with the first year fee waived off, offering customers access to exclusive discounts on a range of agricultural products and services.
“This facility is launched for a segment that we care a lot about, and we believe the sector has the potential to grow in the future. As the private sector bank with the largest leasing portfolio in the country, we are keen to strengthen the MSME sector to transform the national economy to one that is export-oriented,” HNB Deputy General Manager - Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijeymanne said.
With 252 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Over the recent past, the bank was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.
HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020. The bank was also declared the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment.