(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –Nations Trust Bank announced recently the finalisation of a loan facility of USD 40 million from FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank. Supporting the Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) sector affected most by the pandemic, the funds are to be used towards the revival and growth of the Bank’s SME portfolio, in order to ensure lives and livelihoods are protected and new employment is created.
Nations Trust Bank’s business value proposition has a clear focus on enterprise development. Over the years, the Bank has introduced several strategic initiatives to support the SME sector through sharing of expertise, facilitating training programmes and mentoring businesses. The Bank stated that it will focus its funding to local manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, value-added agriculture, women-led businesses, and export-oriented business which in turn will generate the much-needed foreign exchange flow into Sri Lanka and aid in building a resilient national economy.
Speaking about FMO’s funding, Nations Trust Bank’s Director/Chief Executive Officer, Priyantha Talwatte stated, “The facility extended by FMO will enable us to support the growth of our SME clients and to provide solutions which are relevant at each stage of the customer’s business lifecycle. It will contribute to narrowing the SME-financing gap and boosting financial inclusion, a goal shared by Nations Trust Bank and FMO. These funds will support the Bank’s own ‘Diriya’ programme which was floated to support the revival of business with the advent of the pandemic. Our strong and long-standing relationship with FMO has made this facility possible and stands testament to Nations Trust Bank’s continuous ability to transact with international lenders to support in local business rebuilding activity.”
FMO has worked closely with Nations Trust Bank since 2004 and partnered to provide the Bank with access to long-term funding which has become more challenging due to the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The ability to attract five-year funds would further strengthen the liquidity position of the Bank’s balance sheet while, FMO’s long term credit appetite on Nations Trust Bank reflects the stability and strength of the Nations Trust Bank franchise. Qualifying for FMO funds also demonstrate that the Bank’s social and environmental criteria meet international standards” Talwatte added.
Marnix Monsfort, Director a.i. Financial Institutions, said, “FMO is very pleased that we can once again engage with Nations Trust Bank to support them in their strategic journey of supporting SMEs. By contributing to further narrowing the SME-financing gap, Nations Trust Bank can and will boost financial inclusion to various underserved segments, one of the goals highly supported by FMO.”
The SME sector plays a significant role in facilitating the country’s economic growth, with more than 80% of businesses in Sri Lanka being SMEs, while also providing 70% of employment. As such, supporting SMEs to recommence business activities, despite multiple challenges posed by the pandemic, was a key agenda of the Bank in the past year. Towards achieving this objective, Nations Trust Bank has actively engaged with all SME businesses to offer customized financing solutions and advisory support to facilitate sustainable growth. Apart from actively partnering with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for the ‘Saubhagya’ business support loan scheme, Nations Trust Bank has already disbursed over Rs. 20 billion towards the internally generated fund under ‘Nations Diriya’ dedicated to extending financial support to a range of industries engaged in direct or indirect export-oriented business and in local manufacturing.