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Government Gazette

Banks to reduce interest rates on loans and overdrafts

Since it was reported that certain banks have been charging rates as high as up to 39 percent p.a. as penal rates, banks have agreed that the overall penal rates of interest/rates applicable to unauthorized excesses are to be reduced from the current levels to a figure not exceeding 29 percent p.a.

Sri Lanka Banks' Association's member banks will consider a further reduction for priority sector facilities within their respective bank portfolios on a case by case basis.

These decisions are supported by the following perspectives and will be subject to review:

* The level of domestic inflation has progressively come down during the past three months, whereby the point to point inflation is now at a single digit level.

* A gradual reduction in the treasury bill/bond rates which has occurred during the past few months, due to adequate funds moving into Government securities.

* The release of liquidity to the money market following a reduction in the Statutory Reserve Ratio applicable to Licensed Commercial Banks.

Banks will implement these changes this month but not later than May 1, 2009.

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