Colombo, Sri Lanka – In line with the institution’s clear focus on the nation’s enterprise development, banking institution Nations Trust Bank (NTB) in Sri Lanka has announced that it has received a US$40m grant from FMO, the Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank, to help in the revival and growth of the Bank’s SME portfolio, as well as in order to ensure lives and livelihoods are protected and new employment is created. 

FMO has worked closely with Nations Trust Bank since 2004 and has partnered to provide the bank with access to long-term funding which has become more challenging due to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

NTB stated that it will focus its funding on local manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, value-added agriculture, women-led businesses, and export-oriented business which in turn will generate the much-needed foreign exchange flow into Sri Lanka and aid in building a resilient national economy. 

According to Priyantha Talwatte, CEO and director at Nations Trust Bank, the loan facility will enable them to support the growth of their SME clients and to provide solutions which are relevant at each stage of the customer’s business lifecycle. He added that it will contribute to narrowing the SME-financing gap and boosting financial inclusion, a vision both shared by FMO and NTB.

“These funds will support the bank’s own ‘Diriya’ program which was floated to support the revival of business with the advent of the pandemic. Our strong and long-standing relationship with FMO has made this facility possible and stands testament to Nations Trust Bank’s continuous ability to transact with international lenders to support local business rebuilding activity,” Talwatte said.

Meanwhile, Marnix Monsfort, director of Financial Institutions at FMO, commented, “FMO is very pleased that we can once again engage with Nations Trust Bank to support them in their strategic journey of supporting SMEs. By contributing to further narrowing the SME-financing gap, NTB can and will boost financial inclusion to various underserved segments, one of the goals highly supported by FMO.”

Aside from this endeavor, NTB has also partnered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka for the ‘Saubhagya’ business support loan scheme, as well as disbursing over Rs. 20b (US$101.5m) towards the internally generated fund under ‘Nations Diriya’ dedicated to extending financial support to a range of industries engaged in direct or indirect export-oriented business and in local manufacturing.