Lankan banks slash interest on gold pawning loans

Sunday, March 16, 2014 |

In anticipation of a further global gold price decline this year, Sri Lanka’s commercial banks have reduced interest rates on pawning loans on a directive of the Central Bank (CB), bank officials said.
The CB has imposed a 19 per cent per annum interest ceiling on gold pawning loans and directed banks to curtail this business, a CB official told the Business Times.
However one bank appears to be violating the rules by charging 20 per cent, arguing that the high interest was aimed at discouraging clients from pawning gold. “If a complaint is made to the CB’s Bank Supervision Department, we will take action,” the CB official said.
Meanwhile the share of pawning loans to total loans of many large banks, especially the state owned banks, is higher than the industry average in Sri Lanka.
“The defaults in pawning loans would increase as there was no sign of stabilising the gold price, he added.
Other officials said ‘gold pawning’ was increasing in the past due to financial difficulties faced by the people especially Sri Lankan women forced to pawn their jewellery to meet the household expenses.
But today people were reluctant to pawn their jewellery in banks as the money they can get from this is not sufficient to meet the household expenses.
Many people are now borrowing from lenders in towns or villages at an interest rate of 5 per cent per month and the country is experiencing an increasing trend in non-formal lending
A sociologist said that he wonders as to whether Sri Lanka is taking a 360 degree turn towards the era of poli mudalalis or Afghan and Chettiar-type money lenders.
The Bank of Ceylon (BOC) has reduced the interest rate on gold jewelry pawning to 16.5 per cent at present from 17,5 per cent a couple of months back, while further reducing the loan to Rs. 28,000 from Rs. 45,000 per one sovereign, a BOC official told the Business Times.
The People’s Bank’s (pawning) interest rate is at 18 per cent from 19 per cent and it has reduced the loan to Rs.25, 000 from Rs. 39, 000.
“The danger in giving high loans is that in the event of a default, it may cause a risk with regard to the bank’s stability,” the official said.
Sampath Bank has also reduced the interest rate to 15 percent from 20 per cent. In 2013 gold pawning loans disbursed by banks declined by Rs. 100 billion to Rs.420 billion from Rs. 520 billion in 2012 .

Commercial Bank Smart Phone Application

Monday, March 10, 2014 |

Commercial Bank Smart Phone Applications available now for Apple Stores and Google Play

Get the new Commercial Bank App free of charge for your Android device, iPhone or iPad
From balance inquiries on your accounts to managing your credit cards to checking exchange rates, the new Commercial Bank Android device, iPhone or iPad App makes banking convenient and accessible at anytime. If you are a Commercial Bank Online Banking customer, you can download and login to the app using the same user credentials. The app’s offline services can be used even by non-Commercial Bank customers.
Download and register for the Commercial Bank Android and Apple iOS App today.

Services available when Signed-in:
  • Dashboard for Account Inquiries & Notices
  • Credit Card Management
  • Inquiries for Investments & Loans
  • Payments & Settlements
  • Fund Transfers between Own & Registered Accounts
  • Password Change

Off-line Services:
  • Branch & ATM Locations
  • Exchange Rates
  • Interest Rates
  • General Notices
  • Contact & Help
For more detail visit

What is Internet Banking Sri Lanka

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 |

Even those slow to warm up to technology are beginning to use internet banking. It is often more convenient than banks that do not have such services. Sooner or later, most people find it hard to resist. Yet some still do not know what internet banking is.

You can make a variety of transactions by way of internet banking. You can pay bills directly from your checking account. This saves you the cost of a stamp. It also gives you more leeway in how quickly you need to pay the bill. If you have to mail it, you have to send it out long ahead of time.

Funds can be transferred from a checking account to a savings account, or vice versa. You can fill out loan applications for anything from signature loans to mortgages online. You can even use internet banking for investments. All these services are available at both types of banks.

You can view your transactions whenever you want. If you have software for your computer, you can download the information from your internet banking account to your virtual check register, in Quicken for example, and reconcile automatically.

You can access your internet banking account any time, day or night. As long as you have an internet connection of any kind, you are in business. You can do your banking from a laptop in a hotel room, or from the computer in your home. You will find it easy to get the information and do the transactions you want.

Extra caution is taken when setting up internet banking systems. If you have an account online, you will have a complex password. The information will be encrypted. There might be security images you can choose from that no one would have a way of knowing. Furthermore, if you try to make risky transactions, you will be asked more security questions.

Online banking is becoming more and more popular. You can do most of it without leaving your home, if you wish. Internet banking is a safe and convenient way to handle your money.

Sampath Bank launch fund transfer service with ICICI Bank

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 |

India's largest private lender ICICI Bank has tied up with Colombo-based Sampath Bank PLC to launch an online cross-border money transfer facility between the two countries. 

Money2SriLanka (M2SL) is a web-based online platform which facilitates the sending of remittances from various geographies to beneficiaries in Sri Lanka in a convenient and economical manner, ICICI Bank said. 

"We remain committed to extend expertise in the cross border payments business and the online tracking service for money transfers is the first step towards creating a remittance platform for Sri Lanka," an ICICI spokesperson said in a statement here. 

The remittance received through M2SL is available for account holders of ICICI Bank Sri Lanka and Sampath Bank instantly on the day of receipt of funds and the remittances received on behalf of account holders of other banks in the island nation. 

It will be then disbursed via Sri Lanka Interbank Payment System (SLIPS) with the same day value, subject to cut off timings for processing of the payments. 

The service will be soon piloted in Canada and the UK and will shortly be rolled out in Australia, the US, South East Asia and the Euro Zone in the second phase.

Sampath Bank 2009 net group profits rose 36.8% to 2.0 billion rupees

Wednesday, March 3, 2010 |

Sri Lanka's Sampath Bank said its 2009 net group profits rose 36.8 per cent to 2.0 billion rupees (US$17.4 million), while December quarter net was up 72.4 per cent to 689 million rupees with higher interest rate spreads and fee income.

The banking group said in a stock exchange filing December quarter interest income fell 6.2 per cent to 5.1 billion rupees. Interest expenses fell faster 18.3 per cent to 2.98 billion rupees, allowing net interest income to grow 17.4 per cent to 2.2 billion rupees.

Fee income for the quarter was up 57.3 per cent 1.5 billion rupees, despite forex income falling 68.7 per cent to 139.1 million rupees.

Business in Asia Today - March.3, 2010
published by Asia Pulse

Sampath bank eremittance service

Saturday, October 3, 2009 |

Sampath eRemittance service in SriLanka
Sampath Bank (SriLanka) is carrying out remittance services with world 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 Machine.
This system also facilitates payments to any other Commercial Bank in Sri Lanka as well as accounts with NSB.

Also Sampath Bank won the National Science and Technology awards 2008 conducted by the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their new implementation of the Sampath eRemittance system. And also they won a Merit Award at the National Best Quality Software Awards 2008 held by the British Computer Society Sri Lanka section.

Sampath eRemittance available countries:
The eRemittance system is activated in Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cyprus, Canada, Doha, Europe, France, Greece, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Oman, Philippines, Russia, Sweden, Spain, Singapore, UAE, UK, US and Yemen.

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.

more info at

All Commercial banks and Central Bank be linked online

Friday, September 18, 2009 |

Sunday, 9 March 2008 :

ebanklanka is a virtual banking solution to be introduced by Intermax Solution where all the commercial banks in the country as well as the Central Bank and the government institutions will be linked online.
"We started developing the trilingual website in September last year and completed it early January," said CEO Intermax Solutions, Dilan Sanjeewa. He said Internet Banking is the modern trend in banking which enables the customers to engage in all types of transactions through the net be it balance inquiry, fund transferring, utility payments or opening new accounts.
The Central Bank and the Bankers' Association is guiding the project.
In our country too there are local and foreign banks who have introduced Internet Banking services to their customers but just a handful of customers are benefited by them as most customers are not aware of the benefits.
The mission of Intermax Solution (Pvt) Ltd is to function as a medium to enlighten the Sri Lankans on Internet Banking and modern economic and social trends. This website ebanklanka will outline the history, the functions and the services of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. This will further educate the people about the Fiscal policy of the country, orders and regulations issued to the public by the Central Bank and also about the treasury bills.