NSB succeeds in providing islandwide coverage
"The National Savings Bank (NSB) was established in 1972 with three branches; in Colombo, Galle and Kalutara. The main objective of NSB was to make awareness of savings and facilitate them to save. At that period we gave our first priority to build the branch network island wide and today we have 123 main branches and 10 postal banks with the recently opened postal bank in Jaffna", General Manager/CEO; S. P. R Perera said.
NSB has a postal network of 637 main branches and 3,411 subordinate branches island wide to provide a maximum service to the customer. All the branches are interconnected and more than 130 ATM machines are accessible island wide 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.
"NSB has a wide range of products covering all ages. NSB is the leading bank for housing loans and much reputed among the community. We have a fixed rate of 19.5 percent for housing loans, which will not change due to price increases and it is the advantage in our product. We are the only company having reasonable rates in the market undoubtedly. A normal housing loan could be approved within three weeks and we also have an express loan scheme, which will approve the loan within three days", he added.
In the year 2009 NSB wishes to boost the grass root level savings even though it is a little expensive. "We have already taken steps to increase these savings from the rural areas together with our ‘Ithurum Piyasa’ savings scheme, which is already there in the operation. The concept of increasing these savings is targeted especially for the rural community", Perera stated.
"In addition, the recently introduced ‘Pension +’ savings scheme is another unique product targeting the group who do not get a pension. There is no fixed amount to deposit so; the customer could deposit any amount and adjust the time he wants the pension back with the bank. As a result of this concept the people who are not getting a pension will also get a pension and this model has been accepted by the UK Pension Fund as well", he stated.
NSB is proud to note that it is a member of the World Savings Bank Institution and also a member of the International Union for Housing Finance. "We expanded our business to the international market as well. Our NRFC and RFC accounts have improved a lot within a short time of three years and we are working together with our embassies and our agencies in the Middle East, Italy and Korea", he said.
Commenting further Perera noted that "We have exceeded Rs.250 billion deposits and our total accounts have exceeded more than 15 million. Within the year 2008 we were capable to make over 500,000 new accounts. NSB has a total asset base of more than Rs.270 billion, which is evidence for a finer stability".
"The Company enjoys AAA lk rating from Fitch Lanka reflecting its financial position, good asset quality, solvency and strong capital position relative to peers in the financial sector and we are the only company which has an AAA rating for the consecutive sixth year. NSB was capable to mark the Non Performing Loans (NPL) rate below three percent and that is a fact that NSB could continue the with AAA lk rating for six years continuously", he explained.
"NSB decisions are being observed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL), Strategic Enterprise Management Agency (SEMA), the Ministry of Finance and also the Treasury. Which guarantees every cent, which is there in the bank", he added.
"When customers are looking for a safe deposit, as an advice to the public I would like to state that the customer should be clever enough to figure out three particular questions. One is to verify whether it is being registered in the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, secondly to make sure that it has experience and stability in the industry and finally the rating that the deposit company has. By fulfilling all these requirements a person could find a proper institution", he noted.