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Thursday, 26 April 2012

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Lankan bank branch density on the rise

There will be 1,804 more banking branches in the country by 2015, increasing the branch density from 23.5 in 2010 to 30.5 by 2015, according to a survey report launched by Jones Lang LaSalle at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel on Tuesday.

Chairperson, Gagan Singh and CEO, Anuj Puri launching the report. Picture by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa

Assuming a conservative average area of bank branches to be 2,500 sq ft these would directly lead to demand for at least 4.5 million sq ft of office space across cities in Sri Lanka during 2011-2015, the report said.

Making a presentation on the report, Jones Lang LaSalle, Chairperson, Sri Lanka Operation, Gagan Singh said the future demand for commercial office space in Colombo will be closely correlated with the industries that have the prospects of maximum growth.

While growth in the textiles and apparel industry would result in demand for retail and industrial space, growth in finance insurance and information and communication technology sectors would lead directly to demand generation for quality office space.

She said the growth of the hotels and restaurants sector would result in the development of hospitality real estate. Transport, storage and communications, rubber and plastic products, furniture, the wholesale and retail trade and others would lead to demand for retail as well as industrial space.

Elaborating the growth prospects in the finance, insurance, information and communication technology sectors and its impact on the demand for office space in Colombo she said there were 22 banks operating in the Colombo Metropolitan Region with over 632 branches and 897 banking outlets. The majority of office space occupied by this sector is in self-owned or single tenanted office properties across all major locations in the city.

The Bank of Ceylon and the Peoples Bank are two state owned banks having a large network and several private banking firms such as Hatton National Bank, Seylan Bank, DFCC, Commercial Bank, and Sampath Bank also have an established presence in the banking and financial services sector. There are 11 foreign banks that are operational in Sri Lanka including HSBC, Standard Chartered and CitiBank.

Meanwhile, the number of banking branches in Sri Lanka has been increasing at an average rate of 7 percent per annum since 2007. Today, thebank branch density is increasing at the rate of 100,000 persons per bank branch as per the report.

 

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