The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has unveiled ‘Anagi Women’s Banking’ with anew loan scheme under an expanded portfolio ofinitiativesdesigned exclusively to support the aspirations of women.
The ‘Anagi Women’s Banking’ portfolio just unveiled by Sri Lanka’s benchmark private bank will comprise of the existing ‘Anagi Women’s Savings Account’ and the new loan product – ‘Anagi Business Loan for WomenSmall and Medium Entrepreneurs (WSME)’ and will introduce many more new products and services in the future, the Bank said.
The portfolio was designed in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) – under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program – using its expertise in increasing access to finance for women – an important but under-served segment.
The Bank said it will introduce other products and non-financial benefits under the Anagi Women’s Banking portfolio in the future, geared towards the empowerment of women and to help expand their financial horizons.
The Anagi Business Loan for Women Small and Medium Entrepreneurs provides female entrepreneurs with loans for working capital or investment purposes. Available exclusively for female business owners and businesses with female business partners or directors, this scheme enables applicants to receive loans from Rs 2 million to Rs 250 million at competitive interest rates and with flexible grace periods.
Commenting on this initiative, Commercial Bank ‘s Managing Director/ Group Chief Executive Officer Mr. S Renganathan said: “The launch of Anagi Women’s Banking is part of a continuously expanding effort to empower women who make up more than half of the population in Sri Lanka and are an intrinsic part of the economy. They deserve recognition, attention and financial support in order for us to experience inclusive economic progress in the country.”
Remarking on this innovative product, Victor Antonypillai, Acting Country Manager for IFC Sri Lanka and Maldives said: “Investing in women entrepreneurs is essential for economic growth. In Sri Lanka, a quarter of the one million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are owned by women – making it a critical market segment. The launch of ‘Anagi Women’s Banking’ initiative with Commercial Bank of Ceylon– one of IFC’s longstanding partners in Sri Lanka – will help strengthen access to finance for women-owned SMEs and help them sustain and grow, overcoming the challenges posed by the pandemic.”
The Anagibrand name was first used by Commercial Bank with a Women’s Savings Account launchedin 2012 with the intention of influencing Sri Lankan women to build their financial stability by empowering them with features such as a higher interest rateover regular savings accounts and zero restrictions on withdrawals. Accountholders are offered a branded ‘Members Only’ passbook and an Anagi shopping Debit Card with exciting year-long promotions. In 2020, the Bank also introduced a Personal Accident Insurance Cover of up to Rs. 500,000, free of charge, affiliated with Fairfirst Insurance, for Anagi accountholders who maintain an average balance of Rs 250,000 over a period of six months. Either a Statement Savings Account or a Passbook Savings Account can be opened, as preferred by the applicant.
All products and services offered under Anagi Women’s Banking will be accessible to women via a Commercial Bank branch closest to them.