Business News Sri Lanka: As the Sri Lankan business community struggles to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 economic impact, the country’s premier state owned bank, Bank of Ceylon, has reached a milestone in providing the community with a lifeline of recovery.
“ Businesses affected by the pandemic has been granted a moratorium for funds up to Rs 100 billion for a period of 6 months” says Mr D.P.K Gunasekera, Actg. General Manager / CEO of Bank of Ceylon, “ For the applications vetted and approved through the Central Bank scrutiny process, the Bank has been able to disburse loan facilities worth approximately Rs. 4.05 billion, at the time of writing.”
Since the new fund reservation stipulated by the Central Bank has enhanced the Bank’s capability to meet customer needs, the Bank of Ceylon believes that such funds could be given out as COVID-19 support loans to eligible borrowers. Thereafter, the borrowers can make fresh requests to branches for further relief.
“We have one of the largest networks of branches across the country through which we have been able to disburse the funds to our customers located in and outside Colombo, covering all districts.”, reiterates Mr. Gunasekera.
“The Bank of Ceylon has responded swiftly and efficiently to the call for financial assistance from sectors such as agriculture, tourism, exports, tea, apparel, IT, logistics and spices, who have been facing adverse conditions in the post-COVID-19 recovery phase. The timely engagement of the Bank’s staff who worked around the clock to enable customer relief packages played a key role in activating this exceptional initiative”, he adds.
“Our teams at all levels were at the forefront, ensuring that financial assistance is provided on time for their customers impacted by the pandemic. Being the country’s leading state owned bank, we are proud to have contributed significantly towards Sri Lanka’s economic recovery from COVID-19 lockdown”.
Many individuals have been thrown a lifeline in the form of loans to meet working capital requirements and a moratorium placed on existing loans. This has provided a timely boost to the country’s economy, speeding up the recovery efforts and the consolidation of businesses.
“As the country’s No. 1 Bank, we believe that we have a considerable role in play in empowering our customers to get their businesses restarted. From the small and medium sector level to big businesses, Bank of Ceylon has always been there to provide a much needed service to meet short term and long term financial needs of businesses,” reiterates Mr. Gunasekera.
The Bank’s financial strength and capability as the country’s most widely respected financial institution has enabled them to respond positively to the customer needs for financial assistance, says Mr. Gunasekera who adds that their customers have been very appreciative of the gesture which has helped them to resume operations.
“For us, it is a national endeavour of ensuring that the Sri Lankan businesses are able to overcome the devastating impact of the pandemic.” He says in conclusion.