Sri Lanka’s fastest growing commercial bank, Pan Asia Banking Corporation PLC’s (PABC) Saviya microfinance loan scheme is designed to assist development of livelihood for prospective entrepreneurs who remain largely overlooked by the mainstream conventional banking.
“Our belief that in Sri Lanka’s economic growth story, there is a pivotal role to be played by small enterprises engaged in industries such as agriculture, livestock development, fisheries and other small enterprises. As such, it is our duty and responsibility as a successful local bank to empower small-scale entrepreneurs by making credit facilities available to them at their hour of need,” commented Pan Asia Bank DGM Retail Banking and SME Naleen Edirisinghe.
Edirisinghe further stated, “We grant this special loan scheme, bringing credit, savings and other essential financial services within the reach of millions of people who still remain overlooked by most financial institutions, due to their inability to offer sufficient collateral. This void prompted Pan Asia Bank to venture out to serve this segment of population in Sri Lanka by providing credit facilities based primarily on the bank’s evaluation of the applicant’s vocation and its confidence in the success of the enterprise rather than the collateral. The Saviya loan scheme also aims to promote a savings culture among these customers and thereby strengthening their financial position.”
Supplementing the Saviya loan scheme is an investment-based savings scheme where it is mandatory for the borrowers to contribute an additional agreed amount every month towards a savings build up which could be used as collateral for any future expansion of business activity.
The bank also permits group loans against the cross guarantees where maximum number of borrowers in each group to be five. The minimum value of such loans will be Rs.25,000 and the value granted will vary depending on the requirement considering the past track record of the particular borrower.
“We expect to further expand the Saviya loan scheme to cater to a wider section of the targeted market segment such as small-scale agribusiness, seasonal crops and dairy farmers, who already maintain supplier linkages,” added Edirisinghe.