DFCC Bank to support key sectors to expand business | Sunday Observer

DFCC Bank to support key sectors to expand business

24 January, 2021

DFCC Bank has identified key sectors to support them in their business expansion through credit schemes which in turn will help revive the economy, said DFCC Bank CEO Lakshman Silva in an interview with Sunday Observer Business on Friday.

“The Bank has identified these sectors and senior officials are spearheading the program to support these sectors which play a pivotal role in the economy,” Silva said. Agriculture, education, healthcare and fisheries are some of the key sectors that have been identified to provide credit by the bank.

“The program to support these sectors was launched early this month and we are confident it will boost economic revival measures of the government,’ Silva, who is also the chairman of the Sri Lanka Banks’ Association, said.

DFCC Bank, a full-service Commercial Bank with a legacy of 65 years, extended its support in line with Government policy to help pandemic hit businesses especially SMEs by way of a moratorium and low interest loan schemes to revive enterprises. The banking sector is faced with huge challenges to ensure financial sector stability due to the moratoriums and ensuring recoveries . “The banking sector has taken a major hit due to the present crisis. All banks have deferred payments of clients up to July this year particularly for the SMEs in the tourism sector. Banks did not charge interest on capital so far and a further 24-month extension of the grace period was granted,” Silva said.

However, on the low deposit rates affecting interest income dependents of the country as many bankers, Silva too accepted that low deposit rates affect this segment but said at this point of time priority has to be given to the economy rather than the welfare of a segment of the population.

“The current deposit rates are in par with the Government Treasury Bill and Bond rates. Deposit rates go parallel with lending rates and are adjusted accordingly. Banks responded to rates when the regulator brought them down two to three years ago and that is how the banking sector works,’ Silva said, adding that deposit rates today are reasonable given the AWPR and AWNLR rates. The Average Weighted Prime Lending Rate is currently around six percent and the Average Weighted New Lending Rate is around 5.7 percent. “I do agree that the segment that depends on interest income too must survive. Banks do honour its commitments to deposit holders without defaulting and deferment. DFCC Bank, clinched the coveted ‘Best Post-Covid Innovation award at the Sri Lanka Association for Software Services Companies (SLASSCOM) RPA Awards 2020.

The accolade was received for the ‘Automated Debt Moratorium’ initiative, which automated the process of granting moratoriums to people or businesses affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The bank reaffirmed its pledge as the ‘Bank for Everyone’, by launching the DFCC Vayapara Athwela online entrepreneurial skills development program to empower entrepreneurs, SMEs and the public.

The bank recently launched the Cash Management portal, DFCC iConnect, mobile app for corporate clients. The online portal is a fully integrated Cash Management platform that enables customers to carry out daily transactions through a secure channel.