World Bank Country Director for Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Maldives: Dr. Idah Pswarayi-Riddihough says, banks have a critical role to play in fuelling growth, and helping Sri Lanka leapfrog into the “digitally-supported growth of tomorrow”.
Delivering the keynote speech on the theme: “Challenge of Disruptive Change: Together Towards Tomorrow”, at the 31st anniversary convention of the Association of Professional Bankers of Sri Lanka in Colombo, Dr. Pswarayi-Riddihough noted, while banks are pushing the digital transformation in their sector, it seems that Sri Lankans still prefer to bank at their local branches, which are often a part of their own communities.
The density of bank branches in the country currently stands at 18.6 branches for every 100,000 adults, whilst around 83 per cent of the adult population has a bank account.
The World Bank official says, having a bank account isn’t enough; it must be used.
The challenge in Sri Lanka is less about the “un-banked”; it is more about the “under-banked”.