Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank HNB PLC, disbursed over Rs. 1 billion to entrepreneurs in the agricultural sector through its recently launched Micro Leasing facility, offering Micro, Medium and Small Enterprises (MSMEs) a myriad of benefits and opportunities.
Working in line with Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) directives to support and strengthen Sri Lanka's agriculture sector, HNB’s micro leases will be utilized to enhance the capabilities of over 400 agricultural entrepreneurs across the island.
A collaborative effort by the bank’s Leasing and Micro Finance arms, the facility offers customers a full suite of services, including access to great deals and benefits from HNB’s extensive merchant partner network.
“The Agriculture sector was one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic in terms of revenue generation. Given its immense potential to contribute to a vibrant export economy, it is vital that we increase the sector’s productivity and earning potential through modernisation and mechanisation.
“We have experienced first-hand the remarkable appetite for these technologies at the grassroots, and we are proud to able to support farmers in their essential contributions towards rejuvenating Sri Lanka’s agricultural sector,” HNB Deputy General Manager - Retail and SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne said.
The Leasing and Micro Finance arms of the bank collaborated in ensuring HNB’s microfinance officers were fully aware of the facilities and partnerships of the bank in the agricultural sector.
Commencing with email campaigns, the departments organised awareness programmes with the participation of leading merchant partners. While the programmes were interrupted by the current pandemic situation, the bank aims to resume the campaign as soon as possible.
“Given our strong relationship with the agricultural sector, we understand not only their needs but the ideal time for their needs. Our microfinance officers have always been at the forefront of guiding and helping entrepreneurs in the sector to develop further. We are delighted with the progress they have made in this instance.
“The collaborative efforts of HNB’s Leasing and Micro Finance Departments of the bank has ensured the success of this product, and we are delighted at how well our customers in the agricultural sector has received it,” HNB Head of Leasing, Niluka Amarasinghe said.
Through its microfinance officers stationed across the country’s grassroots, HNB has facilitated growth in the sector through its Gami Pubuduwa initiative. The bank will lend the same support for its leasing customers by organising curated sessions to enhance value chain development and capacity building skills in collaboration with skills development organisations. Additionally, customers can use the bank’s flexible payment schemes, customised to their repayment capabilities.
Notably, the bank will onboard all customers using the facility on its digital platforms such as HNB SOLO, MOMO and Appigo, improving the availability of convenient payment solutions in the sector.
Furthermore, HNB offers a seamless one-day approval process supported by its state of-the-art backend systems. Customers availing themselves of the facility are entitled to a free life insurance cover of Rs.4.5 million. The insurance is also anchored to discounted premiums from HNB General Insurance.
Leasing customers also received the Prestige Prime credit card free of charge. The first year fee waived off, offering customers access to exclusive discounts on various agricultural products and services.
With 252 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Over the recent past, the bank was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.
HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020, in addition to winning the coveted Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka Award for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment.