People’s Bank offers host of
benefits for Lankans living abroad
With 47 years of
banking experience, and the security and stability of a state bank
behind it, the People’s Bank announced new initiative measures to Sri
Lankans earning foreign currency, offering the best short term and long
term investment opportunities through the Sri Lankan Rupee Treasury Bill
Under this scheme introduced by the Government of Sri Lanka and People’s
Bank , this initiative offers a safe and highly liquid investment
opportunity to the Sri Lanka diaspora and migrant workers, while
providing an attractive return on their investments.
A Treasury Bill is a short term debt instrument issued by the Government
of Sri Lanka under the local Treasury Bill Ordinance with maturities of
91 days, 182 days and 364 days. A Treasury Bond is a medium to long term
debt instrument issued by the Government of Sri Lanka under the
Registered Stock and Securities Ordinance with maturities of 2 - 10
years. As an agent of the Government of Sri Lanka, the Public Debt
Department of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) issues Treasury
Bills/ Bonds and pays interests and maturity proceeds on due dates.
Customers of the People’s Bank who live abroad, now have the opportunity
to channel their investments through the Treasury Bill / Bond Investment
External Rupee Account – Deshabhimani (TIERA-D,) which can be opened by
the investor for that purpose. All transactions relevant to these
investments will be routed through this TIERA-D. The benefits of this
offered by People’s Bank include, remittances into and out of the TIERA-D
accounts would be free from exchange controls. The investor can also
enter into a Forward Exchange Contract with the Bank if they wish to
mitigate the exchange risk involved with their transactions. In addition
to this, investors can look forward to risk free, gilt edged debt
instrument, maturity proceeds at face value paid on maturity, half
yearly coupon payments for treasury bonds, yield rates determined by the
market, tradable instrument in the secondary market amongst a host of
Vasantha Kumar, Senior Deputy General Manager – Treasury and
International Business, People’s Bank speaking on the significance of
this to the development of the country said, “This is a great investment
opportunity for Sri Lankans living abroad to earn high return in
concurrence with further empowering the government to go ahead with
needed development projects in the country. Also, we are proud to note
that People’s Bank has been appointed as one of the joint lead managers
to facilitate this endeavor.”
In addition, under the Central Bank’s new initiative measures, to
promote inward remittances and to build the foreign exchange reserves to
a high level, the Government of Sri Lanka has made necessary
arrangements to pay a bonus interest in Sri Lanka rupees on the interest
paid on Resident Foreign Currency and Non Resident Foreign Currency
accounts with effect from February 1, 2009.
The bonus paid will be the rupee equivalent of 20% of the foreign
currency interest that accrues on deposits. This will be credited to a
rupee account opened in the name of the account holder or to any other
account nominated by the account holder. Further, the interest bonus
will be exempt from any income tax deductions. The aim of this
initiative is to promote inflows of foreign remittances in to Sri Lanka
through banking channels as well to promote the general public to
deposit any foreign currencies held.
The People’s Bank offers ‘Ethera Isura’ NRFC account, which is a wise
investment for Foreign Exchange earners that offers special benefits and
‘Doo Daru Ethera Isura’ NRFC accounts to children that will help
education overseas and RFC accounts for residing Sri Lankans who receive
foreign exchange that will benefit from this new bonus interest offer.
Being the best service brand in Sri Lanka, the People’s Bank is renowned
for its security and stability as a financial entity. It has a long
history of spearheading initiatives that will benefit the customer
providing short term and long term investment opportunities, and
contribute to the economic development of the country. It is also a
Licensed Commercial Bank under the Banking Act No. 30 of 1988
incorporated as a Commercial Bank by People’s Bank Act No. 29 of 1961.
Sampath leads the way in promoting
T-Bills, Bonds to Lankan diaspora
Sampath Bank’s head of remittance, Harsha de Alwis said that the
Sampath Bank has been selected as a lead bank to promote CBSL’s T-Bills
and T-Bonds to the local diaspora, designated as TIERA- D (Treasury
Investment External Rupee Account – Deshabimani). This product will be
available for the Sri Lankan diaspora and for the Sri Lankan migrant
workers during the coming weeks.
Prospective investors could open their accounts with the Sampath Bank
through their virtual banking system, “Sampath Vishwa,
www.sampathvishwa.com,” once the product is launched. Sampath Bank’s
customers would have many advantages in investing with Sampath bank
since the customers could do their transactions through the bank’s
website and receive an immediate response from the bank.
The Government decided to open the Rupee denominated T-bill and T-bond
market for the Sri Lankan Diaspora and to Migrant Workforce after it was
announced in CBSL’s “Road Map: Monetary and Financial Sector Policies
for 2009 and beyond”.
Sampath Bank Plc is also hoping to launch several services catering to
the Sri Lankan diaspora and the migrant workers during the year.
“Our customers have an advantage over other banks, since, they can
always rely on Sampath Bank Plc, and we also provide speedy and high
quality services to our valued customers,” he said.
Harsha added Sampath Bank is also carrying out remittance services with
leading companies such as Money gram International, Coins Star, Xpress
Money , EzRemit , RIA Finance, Instant Cash. It has also promoted its
own Web Based System branded as Sampath E Remittances Service.
Beneficiaries of a Sampath Bank remittance could collect their
remittance proceeds through any Sampath Bank branch.
Sampath Bank customers could enjoy the facility of instant credit to
their accounts round the clock with Sampath E Remittance System and
withdrawing their cash from 165 Sampath ATMs and any Bank of Ceylon ATM
This system also facilitates payments to any other Commercial Bank in
Sri Lanka as well as accounts with NSB.
He went on to add that the Bank has tied up with more than 30 exchange
companies around the world, to allow its customers to access bank from
every corners of the world, We have tied up with exchange companies in
New Zealand , Australia, Middle East, Europe and the USA.
He further stated that Sampath E Remittance System won the National
Science and Technology Awards 2008 under the category of “Locally
developed new technologies which have resulted in a successfully
Marketed Product / Services” and also the National Best Quality Software
Awards 2008 and the Merit Award was won by “Electronic Money Transfer
Systems (EMTS)” application, both under the in-house category.
Sampath Remittance system is available at all its 113 branches located
island wide. And for the benefit of the remittance recipients selected
branches are open during the weekends and they extend their remittance
service during the festive seasons.
Customers could contact E-Remittances 24 hour Hot Line 0773933833 and
solve their queries with regard to remittances.
Currency Account (NRFC)
According to Harsha, the Government of Sri Lanka has taken measures to
attract Sri Lankan migrant workers to invest their hard earned foreign
currencies in the country. The Bank is also planning to introduce new
value additions to their NRFC Account holders.
“We have representative offices in UAE and Doha Qatar to educate and
assist the Sri Lankan migrant workers to carry out their banking needs
in a friendly atmosphere. Further, the Bank is planning to increase its
business promotions officers in other parts of the world, where Sri
Lankan migrant workers have their presence”.
Once a customer opens an account through the Business Promotions
Officer, he could obtain an internationally valid ATM (SET) Card
instantly giving access to the account. This unique product is branded
as NRS Sri Lankan.
All Sampath Bank NRFC Account holders are exempted from bank charges
when they remit their fund through web based channels.
Sampath Bank Plc also allows its customers to open a NRFC account
through the internet, and it also allows its customers to contact its
offices through its hotlines to solve their queries.
As Sampath Bank is willing to provide the best
of its service to its the valued customers, the Bank is planning to
place more business promotion offices in different countries in
improving its business.