Global pioneer of sustainable banking Triodos Microfinance Fund and Triodos Fair Share Fund have recently provided a joint credit line to Alliance Finance Company PLC (CSE: ALLI) in order to further strengthen its contribution to a broader impact through SME financing and microfinance in Sri Lanka.
Triodos Bank, a development finance institution in Europe rather than extending a regular funding line has recognised the core values of Alliance Finance Company, the common similarities between the two establishments along with the long-term sustainability to provide the credit line. According to Alliance Finance Company Deputy Chairman/ Managing Director,Mr Romani de Silva both companies closely follow the triple bottom-line which has enabled this connection.
“Triodos Bank is one of the world’s leading banks which is in the forefront of developing the “ Global Alliance for Banking on sustainable values (GABV)”, an international network of sustainable banks who seekto integrate a value based mission and strategy. Triodos and Alliance Finance share in common long-term aspirations; we have embodied the triple bottom-line concept in our businesses and in our processors during the last couple of years. This year 3% of our profits go back to the communities we are operating in. All employees have a stake in these projects,” he said.
Alliance Finance Company is one of the oldest full-service financial institutions in Sri Lanka. Since 1959, it has offered a wide-range of lease, loan, and deposits products to mainly small and medium enterprise clients (SMEs). In 2013, it began providing microfinance services to exclusively women, using a group lending structure. 35% of the female clients are in rural areas where access to finance is highly limited. Alliance Finance Company has the ambition to be the leading full-service financial provider and plans to continue to strengthen its activities in microfinance and also expand to green leasing products.
“SME and microfinance expansion is the focus right now and we see the need in the country for balancing the development. As a corporate citizen, we have a responsible role to play especially with a focus extended outside the Western Province,” he added.
So, to start with by taking a different turn Alliance Finance Company has come out with a moderate program of providing environmental friendly three-wheelers to those who are below the poverty line. “We have pioneered a gas conversion kit for three-wheelers. The conversion will increase the efficiency and bring down the emissions. Last three years we were involved in this project jointly with a Dutch company. An MoU was signed. Dutch Government granted us EUR200,000 for the feasibility study. We need this kind of support for such projects, which are very ambitious, far-flung, and long term. We see possibilities in manufacturing this kit locally to bring down the conversion prices. It will reduce the carbon foot print of Sri Lanka and a big milestone for us,” said Mr. Romani de Silva.