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HNB focuses on remittances as an engine for development

29 November 2021 08:51 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal (fourth from right), HNB MD/CEO Jonathan Alles (fifth from left), CBSL Assistant Governor Dharmasiri Kumarathunga (fourth from left) and HNB DGM Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne (third from left) with winners

 

Underpinning the power of remittances to drive development and in support of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s (CBSL) efforts to optimise inward remittances to Sri Lanka, leading private sector bank HNB PLC recognised and rewarded its top-achieving customers, at a special ceremony at its premises. 


The event featured CBSL Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal as the chief guest and CBSL Assistant Governor Dharmasiri Kumarathunga, who together with HNB MD/CEO Jonathan Alles and senior officers, handed cash prizes of Rs.100,000 to the awardees.


Speaking on the occasion Cabraal said, “We express our gratitude to every Sri Lankan working overseas, who is able to send a portion of their hard-earned earnings back home. Remittances are not only a benefit for those who send and receive money but also an immensely valuable benefit for our nation. In acknowledging these factors, we understood that it is important to offer as many privileges as we can for those who use official channels for their remittances. 


These will include immediate measures from the CBSL such as offering Rs.2 on every US dollar remitted, as well as additional tax benefits. Similarly, if they were to use these funds to start a business, additional concessions will also be provided. Every Sri Lankan who works overseas should be treated as a VIP. We are grateful for their service and we hope that they will make maximum use of this opportunity. I also wish to thank HNB for immediately stepping forward to support our vital efforts to raise remittances, which are essential to Sri Lanka’s future development.”  


Among other initiatives aimed at increasing remittance inflows, from US $ 7 billion to US $ 9 billion, the CBSL in collaboration with the banking sector, plans to introduce SL-Remit, a mobile app to enable migrant workers to send their earnings via a safe and secure, official channel. 


At a national level, worker remittances have been on the decline in recent months with September inflows halving to US $ 353 million as compared with US $ 703 million a year ago. Remittances in the first nine months reduced by 9 percent YoY to US $ 4.5 billion from the corresponding period of last year. 


“Migrant workers who opt to send their precious foreign currency through formal banking channels will be treated to new privileges, at a national level as well as at bank level. Given HNB’s rich 40-year heritage in the remittance industry, we are ideally positioned to take the lead in streamlining inflows to Sri Lanka, while ensuring that the interests and well-being of migrant workers during their tenure as a migrant and upon their return to the motherland,” Alles stated. With over four decades of remittance experience, HNB has deployed officers in select locations as a regular point of contact to provide solutions and advice customers on their banking expectations.

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