Business Times

CSE boom hasn’t reached remote areas; banks still rule

Banks such as DFCC Vardhana Bank (CDVB), catering to Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) are still attractive to the rural population despite the share market boom, as the latter still has not made inroads to the deep and remote areas in the country, according to officials.

“There’s large number of unbanked community in these areas still in need of our specialized services and at present the share market interest has not sufficiently penetrated the rural communes,” Lakshman Silva, CEO DVB told the Business Times.

He cited this as the main reason that DVB plans to start branches in Embilipitiya and in Trincomalee this month. “We will be focussed on some opportunities in these areas and also the surrounding parts,” Mr. Silva, fresh from opening DVB’s 100th branch and service centre in Moratuwa said.

He said there was a need to start a branch in Moratuwa as this was an area where traditionally businessmen in SME sectors were created. “The access for them now with this branch is much easier and we’ll be aggressive with searching for SME needs at Moratuwa,” he added. He said within 7-years DVB has reached its 100th branch which is an achievement as the only bank to do so within the shortest time.

He said thus rapid rate of expansion coupled with the bank’s vast network spanning every single district in the country, ensures that they are within reach to every single one of its consumers. Part of DVB’s branch network consists of Postal Banking Units which helps increase its physical distribution network and also gives it reach to target a larger section. He added that DVB gets many inquires from some entrepreneurs with regard to agriculture, feeder services to the tourism sector, food sector, etc, which has come into focus after the war.

“There are interests on the rubber sector, tea and also desiccated coconut exports,” he said.
He said there are inquires on solar power and windmill projects as well.

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