The Northern and Eastern Provinces have got 59 new bank branches following the end of the conflict.
The Central Bank says since the end of the conflict approval had been given to open 136 bank branches in these regions. The Monetary Authority had given permission to open 64 branches in the East and 72 in the North. The Bank says most of the applications it received seeking approval came from local banks. There had been only few applications from foreign banks operating in the country to open branches in the North and the East. According to authorities, the SME sector covering areas such as Fisheries, IT and Hotels and also the agriculture sector provides the biggest opportunity for banking business in those regions.