Oct 09, Colombo: Hatton National Bank, one of the largest private sector banks in Sri Lanka, has decided to spin off its smallholder agriculture finance and microfinance programme and operations into a separate financial entity to provide specialized services.
The new entity would be set up as a registered finance company with a license from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the Finance Business Act, the HNB said in a stock market disclosure Wednesday.
The existing and liabilities relating to microfinance smallholder agriculture financing of HNB would be transferred to the new entity subject to the regulatory approvals.
The Central Bank has permitted the HNB to set up the proposed company initially a s a fully owned subsidiary. HNB is proposing to tie up with prospective international investors in the future.
The HNB has been involved in rural development and agriculture financing since its inception as full-fledged commercial bank and has been providing financial services to rural Sri Lanka for commercial activities at Micro, Small and Medium level encompassing agriculture, animal husnbandary, dairly development, trading and small industries over decades.
The HNB has initiated the Gami Pubuduwa, the rural/agri-lending program to enhance financial inclusion in rural Sri Lanka in general, and youth inclusion in particular.