IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, will provide advisory services to Sanasa Development Bank as it expands to include more micro and small businesses, cooperatives, and retail clients. Importantly, the bank will now reach more rural small businesses across the country, boosting financial inclusion.
IFC has been a long term advisory partner with Sanasa Development Bank since 2010, and also invested in its equity in 2012. Over the course of the next two years, IFC’s assistance will strengthen the bank’s overall operational capabilities and risk management framework.
“Sanasa Development Bank’s growth strategy involves long-term sustainable growth in three important sectors – SME, retail, and cooperative – to make financing more accessible to a larger number of people,” said Nimal C Hapuarachchi, Chief Executive Officer of Sanasa Development Bank PLC.
“A transition of this depth requires strong and timely partnerships. IFC’s long-term partnership with SANASA Development Bank will significantly impact the bank’s value-creation process,” said Samadanie Kiriwandeniya, Chairperson of Sanasa.
Micro, small, and medium enterprises play a critical role in Sri Lanka’s economic development. However, access to finance remains a key constraint to the development of small businesses.
“Supporting Sri Lanka’s largest private microfinance institution’s transformation into an SME and retail bank will help reach much needed financial services to micro, small and medium enterprises in rural parts of the country. As a long term partner to Sanasa, IFC will help the bank expand formal financial services to under-served cooperatives and rural micro and small businesses,” said Mengistu Alemayehu, IFC’s Regional Director for South Asia.
Sri Lanka is a priority country for IFC. IFC’s committed portfolio in Sri Lanka is now $419 million and covers projects across a range of sectors, including infrastructure, tourism, renewable energy, finance, and healthcare. IFC also provides advisory services to promote sustainable growth among small and medium enterprises by facilitating access to finance, and by offering capacity-building and training opportunities.