Sri Lanka wants bankers’ scare tactics to end

ECONOMYNEXT- Bankers are scaring away first time customers, which is hurting the entrepreneurial potential of Sri Lanka, the country’s Finance Minister said.

“People who are coming into a bank for the first time, our younger generation, is scared to step into a bank. They’re scared of the questions, they’re scared of the demands for collateral, they’re scared of being turned back,” Mangala Samaraweera said.

He was speaking at the launch of a special lending window at the Bank of Ceylon, under the Enterprise Sri Lanka subsidized loan programme.

“Most banks don’t want to give loans. They’re trying to turn people away. We need to change this,” Samaraweera said.

“All that our youngsters should have are a good business plan and their ability to dream.”

He said that loans given through Enterprise Sri Lanka will be evaluated first based on the merit of business plans, and second based on the availability of collateral.

“If the business plan is good, we should give it the benefit of the doubt. There may be some doubts, that some may not succeed, but we hope to have at least 100,000 entrepreneurs,” Samaraweera said.

He said that a hotline and a call centre will be set up, so that the public can complain about shortcomings in the programme. (COLOMBO, 19 July, 2018)

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