SANASA Development Bank steps into 19th year

Monday, 29 August 2016 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Untitled-5The SANASA Development Bank a pioneering financial institution founded on supporting the grassroots levels of Sri Lanka just celebrated its 19th anniversary. Sanasa which began operations in August 1997 as a licensed specialised bank approved by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Finance, has since made a significant contribution towards improving the lives of thousands of people.

The aim of SANASA Development Bank is to assist in formulating sustainable livelihood programs for the people of this country through development oriented financial services, in order to eliminate poverty. This ground breaking vision resulted in the bank setting an example hereto unseen in the financial sector of this country. 

SANASA Development Bank Founder Dr. P.A. Kiriwandeniya, who owes his life’s success to courage, determination and dedicated work, led the bank from its inception up to his retirement in 2011. With his vast experience in the field of finance and understanding of the rural sectors, he steered the bank on firm course, with a clear vision and objective that was based on people development. The success the institution has achieved and the impact it has made on livelihoods is clear proof of accomplishing this objective.

Explaining the evolution of the bank, General Manager/Chief Executive Officer Nimal C. Hapuarachchi said, “The SANASA Development Bank did not commence as a state or private bank. It is truly a people’s enterprise to fulfil the needs of the people and with the participation of the people. Therefore, the services of the bank were those that sought to fulfil the real needs of the people. The full confidence and acceptance of the public followed as a matter of course. We take great pride in our successful journey of 19 years, serving the people and growing daily. It is our aim to provide a greater service to the people by introducing more and more services.”

The SANASA Development Bank was formed with capital of Rs. 123 million which was fund built by the SANASA Movement. Having begun operations with one branch and a limited staff, it is today a wide network with 88 branches island-wide and a staff of over 1,200.

Among the services provided to the public by the SANASA Development Bank are the SDB Standard Savings Account, the Lakdaru Savings Account, the SDB Dayada, the Jawaya Savings Account, the Dashaka Savings Account, the Uththamavee Savings Account and the Upahara Savings Account. 

Savings Accounts specially dedicated to serve the needs of Co-operative Banks, fixed deposits, loan facilities and Visa Debit Cards are other services provided by the bank. Backed by the confidence of the people who over the years have benefited from these services, the bank has partnered with the Government in implementing several development projects. Currently, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, the Ministry of Law and Order Southern Development, the Small Enterprises Development Bureau, the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, the National Enterprise Development Authority, the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Public Administration and Management and the Ranaviru Seva Authority provide the impetus for the forward march of the SANASA Development Bank.

The bank has also taken steps to strengthen the multi-purpose co-operative societies along with SANASA societies which are encouraged to venture into new fields of business. They are provided with the right environment and relevant loan schemes are introduced. The bank`s mission is to become the primary financial institution in the co-operative sector and plans for this are already being formulated. 

There are also several international partners who have appreciated its efforts and joined hands with the SANASA Development Bank. It is at present engaged in taking the necessary steps to implement the ‘Quantum Leap’ project in association with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector investment institution of the World Bank, to increase efficiency and further streamline consumer services. While a massive investment was made for this purpose at the beginning of 2016/2017, all stakeholders will be able to experience the benefits of these investments from 2017 onwards. 

In order to give priority to this massive investment and transformation program, the bank’s investments were continued in a regulated and equitable manner in order to maintain its 2016 growth at 20%. The results would be evident during 2017. The extraordinary contribution made by Sanasa Development Bank to the financial sector has been recognised with several awards, both national and international. In 2009, SANASA Development Bank was ranked the 2nd best microfinance institution in the world and the first in Sri Lanka by Mix Market Global – USA.

The SANASA Development Bank has always taken steps to establish a very productive and friendly environment for its staff. The bank which has always extended its support to the new generation to succeed in their professional ambitions is unique, in that 79.2% of their staff is below 35 years of age while 51%is female. 

The bank always carries out various training and development programs as well as evaluations and prize competitions that are geared towards career development. Apart from that the bank organises team building events such as friendly get-togethers, Bhakthi Gee programs and Peduru Parties.

The bank also organises special community service projects such as Katina Pinkam Poojas for the spiritual development of devotees, the SDB Lakdaru Scholarship Awards to recognise and reward students who have excelled at the Year 5 Scholarship Examinations and the annual Nelum Mal Pooja. Skills development programs for small and medium-scale entrepreneurs is another project taken on by the bank, where participants are provided with technical, industry and marketing knowledge.

To commemorate its 19th anniversary, the SANASA Development Bank has introduced special interest rates for their fixed deposits. 

More information can be obtained by visiting the bank’s website, or by calling 011 5 411 411.