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Sri Lanka NDB awarded ‘Banker Financial Inclusion Award 2014’
01 Dec, 2014 11:51:32
Dec 01, 2014 (LBO) - Sri Lanka National Development Bank (NDB) was recognised with the ‘Banker Financial Inclusion Award 2014’ of the Banker Magazine UK at a ceremony in London recently, the bank said in a media statement.
The award is conferred to only one global victor each year, recognizing its efforts towards promoting financial inclusion. The Banker is the world’s premier banking and finance resource monthly magazine owned by the Financial Times in the United Kingdom and is read in over 180 countries.

“Beyond the prestige and honour, for us, being the sole global recipient of the accolade is an affirmation of our innovative and comprehensive efforts towards promoting the national cause of livelihood development at grass root level; empowering communities, households and individuals in Sri Lanka through aggressive geographic expansion while extending meaningful micro-financing solutions such as 'NDB Divi Aruna'.” Rajendra Theagarajah, NDB Chief Executive Officer said.

NDB introduced the ‘Divi Aruna’ (Awakening of lives’) scheme in 2010, aimed at developing livelihood for prospective micro/ small scale entrepreneurs who would usually not come within the mainstream of banking.

The scheme that was commenced in the North and East now reaches out to every part of the island, fuelled by the aggressive geographic expansion strategy of the Bank. The primary feature of this initiative is that no collateral is taken as security for the loans. Loan approval is primarily based on the Bank’s evaluation of the applicant’s vocation and its confidence in the success of the enterprise.

“Looking to the future, we envisage that Divi Aruna Scheme to be further expanded and streamlined to include more targeted market segments such as small scale agriculturists, cultivators and milk farmers, registered community based organizations already functioning at grass root level and any new organizations formed under the supervision and guidance of NDB,” Theagarajah said.

“It is also envisaged that the expanded product coverage would include micro leasing, micro livelihood loans and financing of community based organizations and/or their members on a selective basis in addition to empowerment and capacity building programs,”

“We will leverage on technology to reach out to the under-banked segment in rural Sri Lanka in a more cost effective way through mobile banking.”

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