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NSB aims at being best financial institution by 2012

The National Savings Bank (NSB) has set a goal to transform itself to being the best managed, best administered, most profitable and the most respected financial institution by 2012 - the year when the bank celebrates its 40th anniversary.

Pradeep Kariyawasam

Chairman Pradeep Kariyawasam said that with this goal in mind, strategic plans have been initiated, which includes a corporate advertising campaign with the objective of enhancing the image of the Bank and reminding all citizens of the importance and urgency of savings, the benefit of savings and most important, how they could be stakeholders in the development of the country.

Savings till

A giant savings till approximately 11 ft in height and 8 ft in width was unveiled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in September 2010. The till has been 'travelling' the country with the objective of consolidating the message of the advertising campaign. Kariyawasam said that even though, initially they expected the journey to be completed by the end of this year, there is every likelihood that the till will 'travel' even during 2012.

Agreement with Sri Lanka

Post NSB has entered into an exclusive arrangement with Sri Lanka Post which gives the bank the ability to use their network of 641 Main Post Offices and almost 3,500 Sub Post Offices as service outlets supplementing the islandwide branch network. A project has been undertaken with Sri Lanka Post to introduce an interest bearing joint savings product and also to introduce a Small and Medium Enterprise loan scheme.

The arrangement will provide NSB exclusive rights to market this special savings scheme as well as foreign remittances of Sri Lankan migrant workers, through the wide-reaching postal network. From the point of view of Sri Lanka Post, this project seeks to uplift their overall standards and thereby increase their efficiency and productivity by means of equipping post offices and sub post offices with computers and the required peripherals.

Upgrading their IT infrastructure will not only enhance the delivery of postal products and services but also the services related to NSB products. Under this project, the postal system will be enhanced to be more productive. Computerisation of main post offices was completed by October 2010 and computerisation of sub post offices will be undertaken in three phases. It began in January.

We will install, commission, test and handover 1,000 sub post offices every year and by the end of 2013, NSB hopes to complete computerisation of all Sub Post Offices in the island. The entire capital expenditure incurred towards this project exceeding Rs. 570 million, would be borne by NSB.

This will be an ongoing project as we will also undertake to maintain post offices and sub post offices on a periodic basis, as and when the need arises.

Kariyawasam said that the Bank will have unlimited access to the postal network and thereby have access to the furthermost corners of Sri Lanka.

True to its objective i.e. to increase savings, especially among the rural and the low income segments, this strategic alliance with Sri Lanka Post will enable the Bank to reach the remotest areas and increase the domestic savings ratio from the current 17-18 percent to the much desired 25-26 percent. The NSB would enhance its contribution to the national economy as expected by the Government when it was established 38 years ago.

Broader perspective

The strategic alliance will serve to build entrepreneurship on an islandwide scale through cash circulation stimulated by the SME loan schemes.

"The NSB is confident that through this venture, we can make a very strong contribution to the Government's effort to increase the per capita income from the current US $ 2,000 to US $ 4,000 by 2015 , and also play a key pivotal role to provide the impetus, to be a driving force in the Mahinda Chinthana policy statement to create the platform in developing 500,000 village based entrepreneurs.

Remittance Agreements

The bank is on a mission to enhance its foreign remittance base capitalising on its status as the only state bank whose deposits are fully guaranteed and protected by the Government, at a time when scandals and rackets concerning unsafe passage of hard-earned remittances are rife. .

The NSB guarantees security to its customers. Whichever part of the world migrant workers are stationed or wherever the beneficiaries live, NSB ensures safe and complete delivery of inward remittances.

With its unprecedented penetration into the country and its unrestricted access to the postal network, the Bank is armed with the best logistics to facilitate money transfer services to the migrant worker population, over 60 percent of whom are based in the Middle East.

Foreign remittances are a main focus in the Bank's future planning.

Having tapped into almost all segments of markets in the country, it has realised the need for looking beyond the local market which is almost saturated and finding new markets preferably outside the country.

While consolidating the arrangements entered into by the bank with various exchange houses, the Bank was able to sign up with top exchange houses in Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan and Cyprus and Saudi Arabia.

The globally recognised international financial network MoneyGram is also among its links. Being the only bank with 100 percent Government guarantee and protection, which bespeaks safety and security and the Bank's far reaching network backed by the postal outfit, makes NSB appealing to both remitters and remitting agencies.

NSB continues its partnership with Eurogiro an exclusive Sri Lanka member and Eurogiro has promised to give publicity to the project 'SMILE'.

Being a service organisation, the Bank considers its employees as the key success factor in rendering service to its customers.

Therefore, training and upgrading skills of employees is given priority. It is of paramount importance that the Bank's human resources are content and ensured of congenial working conditions so that they are motivated.

As a socially conscious and responsible fully-fledged state bank, NSB helps in the upgrading of education by sponsoring workshops for the Grade 5 Scholarship examination, sponsoring scholarships to Year 5 scholarship recipients and GCE (O/L) aspirants and introducing loan schemes for students and teachers.

The Bank also empowers school children and exposes them to financial management from an early stage through setting up of school banks.

On its way to being the best financial institution in Sri Lanka in 2012, with an islandwide reach of nearly 4,500 service points and over 16 million account holders, NSB prides itself as being Sri Lanka's pioneer and premier savings bank.

 

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