Sri Lanka’s micro finance sector has been financed to the tune of Rs. 7 billion over the last two decades by the Hatton National Bank (HNB), creating over 100,000 micro finance entrepreneurs and in addition provided access to over 400,000 in micro finance savings, a top banker said this week.
Chandula Abeywickrema Chairman, Banking With The Poor Network and a top HNB executive, said the HNB is the only commercial bank in the country to develop a sustainable micro finance strategy.
He was speaking at a press conference where it was announced that The Banking With The Poor network will convene the Asia Micro Finance Forum 2010 organized by the foundation for development corporation. This will be sponsored by the Citi Foundation and HNB as the local host. The forum will be held in Colombo from October 12 to 15, 2010.
The Asia microfinance Forum is held every two years and is considered to be one of the largest gatherings of all stakeholders involved in micro finance activities. This will include the practitioners, investors, policy makers as well as other capacity builders.
Mr Abeywickrema said that “After experiencing three decades of war this is the first time that a conference of this magnitude will take place in Sri Lanka.
The theme will be financial inclusion – achieving Asia’s potential. We are expecting over 550 delegates of whom the majority will be from the Asian region. Among them will be 20 of the world’s largest leading investors.”