(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Bank for Everyone, DFCC Bank, has recently launched a special marketing drive and scheme to attract Foreign Inward Remittances. Looking to support the nation at this challenging time, DFCC Bank is offering an additional LKR 1/- per US Dollar, for all individual foreign inward remittances received to a DFCC Bank account.
This special incentive is being provided in addition to the prevailing LKR 2/- per US dollar offered by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for worker remittances. The Bank believes that this additional benefit will help to assist the dependents of Sri Lankan expatriates to fulfil their needs and requirements amidst the present challenges. This incentive will be paid out to any DFCC account of the recipient’s choice, and is applicable for inward remittances in all major foreign currencies and not limited to US Dollar remittances.
Discussing the new scheme, Mr. Anton Arumugam – Senior Vice President – Offshore Banking, Remittance, and Institute Business Development at DFCC Bank said, “At this crucial moment for Sri Lanka, and as a responsible licensed commercial bank, our main priority is to increase foreign remittances flowing into the country, through the formal banking system. This way is the safest, most transparent, and only legitimate way to send money to Sri Lanka. In fact, by doing so, there are many benefits that remitters and beneficiaries can enjoy such as tax and financial benefits. The government of Sri Lanka is looking at enhancing benefits to expatriates remitting money through the banking system, and we are working together with the regulator to support this initiative.”
Many Sri Lankans have already fallen victim to the various rackets that are presently ongoing concerning informal methods of sending money. Thus, DFCC Bank wishes to draw the attention of the public to the fact that, the only safe and reliable way to send money to Sri Lanka is through the banking system. Many resorted to these informal methods, as a result of unfavorable exchange rates. However, over the past few months, the banking system has been able to offer attractive interest and exchange rates so that Sri Lankan expats can safely send money home, and their families can enjoy high returns.
Explaining why people should always choose legitimate methods of remitting money home, Mr. Arumugam added, “Anyone who continues to use informal remittances, should keep in mind that many informal operators are involved in other illicit activities as well, which means that, should they come under law enforcement action, remitters’ funds too will be lost or confiscated, while the remitter may also end up being implicated in the illicit activities of the operator. Engaging in “Undiyal” or “Hawala” transactions, as the informal systems are commonly known, maybe a punishable offense under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. Thus, the risks of informal remittances are very high, not only for the remitter but also the national economy, and include total loss of funds, heavy fines, and potential prison time.”
To resolve its present crisis, Sri Lanka needs to increase the inflow of foreign currency through legitimate channels, to support imports, meet obligations and also strengthen its economy. Worker remittances are among the top sources of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka, along with exports, services, and tourism. However, in the recent past, remittances have fallen, though not as a result of fewer Sri Lankans working abroad.
The number of Sri Lankans working abroad has increased since 2020, but remittances have continued to decline. Thus, the need of the hour is a scheme and programme for banks to incentivize remittances through formal channels, to get foreign exchange officially and legitimately flowing into Sri Lanka once again, and DFCC Bank is proud to be amongst those taking decisive action in this regard.