The National Development Bank PLC recently announced a reduction of lending rates across the board in line with the downward trend of interest rates in Sri Lanka. Accordingly, NDB has reduced its interest rates across the range of lending products by over 1.50%.
Hence, customers in some of the critical growth segments may avail of better rates to accelerate their growth. The Bank also continues to provide support to the customers who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic through debt moratoriums and facilitating new funding.
Group CEO Dimantha Seneviratne noted, that in order for the country to recover from the current economic slowdown resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is necessary to provide businesses with access to funds at affordable rates. He further noted that the bank has already implemented the directions of the Central Bank in lowering the overdraft rates of SME clients to 13% and new pawning rates to 12%.
The SME segment, which forms the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy, is the segment which will be impacted the most in an economic down turn. Hence it is imperative that the banks support this segment by making funds available at concessionary rates. Accordingly, while the overdraft rate has been reduced by 2%, NDB also offers a number of concessions on the fees, interest rates and all other applicable charges of loans to all sectors of the SME segment.
Additionally, the interest rates on personal loans, Home Loans and NDB’s special offering of the pensioner’s loan – Aachara Loan have also been reduced.
Meanwhile, NDB Credit Card customers can also enjoy a rate of 15% for local transactions up to Rs. 50,000 as opposed to the normal rate of 28%.
In addition, the Bank is also extending a moratorium on loan repayments to eligible clients so that cash generated in the business can go towards stabilising and growing the business in the short term rather than using that cash to repay bank loans.
The Bank has already processed applications within the amount allocated to the bank under the Saubhagya Refinance Loan scheme. These have been forwarded to the Central Bank for approval. Under this scheme customers can avail Working Capital Loans at a concessionary rate of 4% p.a. subject to Central Bank approval. Whilst the credits are being processed at CBSL, Bank has already disbursed some of these working capital loans to customers to meet urgent salary and utility bill payments, pending receipt of refinance funds to the bank.
The Bank further emphasised that in the immediate aftermath of this crisis, availability of cash in the businesses will prove crucial to their survival, NDB and the banking sector is working towards facilitating this to accelerate their recovery.