Recognising the importance of small and medium scale entrepreneurs to the growth of our national economy, Hatton National Bank (HNB) and the Federation of Chambers of Commerce of Sri Lanka (FCCISL) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to promote a range of financial services to Sri Lankan SMEs.
Jonathan Alles, Chief Operating Officer of HNB, and Kumar Mallimaratchi, President of FCCISL, signed the MOU at a simple ceremony held on 8 September 2011 at Level – 14 of HNB Towers.
The signing of the MOU will be a very important milestone, as both institutions have a strong presence island-wide and have allocated substantial resources for the development of this sector. HNB with its network of 220 Customer Centres, strong brand name, a comprehensive product portfolio and a strong focus on customer care, is well strengthened and capitalised to launch this initiative. With a view to facilitate the extending of finance to the SME sector, which has emerged as the most viable financial segment in the market, HNB launched “HNB Small & Medium Enterprise Development Partner (SMEDP)” scheme during the early part of the current year to meet its customer requirements. Adding strength to this mechanism, all Regional Offices have been assigned with SME Units to handle and evaluate SME applications in an expeditious manner.
FCCISL is the apex organisation for the Chambers and Associations in the country. Incorporating 59 Chambers and 29 Regional Chambers, they have more than a 30 year history of active involvement in SME development. SMED the SME development arm of FCCISL also organised the “SME” Machinery & Technology Exhibition, 2011 during 10 – 12 June at BMICH, very successfully encouraging innovation and its membership displaying their commitment for the relevant sector.
Signing of the MOU between HNB & FCCISL is a significant development for SMEs in Sri Lanka as it opens doors for many SMEs which require comprehensive financial solutions, thus partnering the rise of an entrepreneurial nation.