People's Bank opens a banking counter at Passport Office to add further convenience to migrant workers

December 14, 2021

People's Bank has stepped forward to support the Department of Immigration and Emigration by establishing a new banking counter at ‘Suhurupaya’, Battaramulla recently.

This initiative was taken with the aim of supporting the Central Bank of Sri Lanka’s ongoing efforts to boost the country’s foreign reserves by offering migrant workers access to safe, official remittance channels from the time they obtain new passports or renew their passports in order to leave for jobs abroad.

Chief Guest of the opening ceremony Ajith Nivard Cabraal - Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka commented, “A lot of Sri Lankans go overseas for jobs and send their hard-earned money to Sri Lanka. Sometimes they face issues when remitting money. So we thought we should provide the opportunity for them to open an account as they obtain their passports at the passport office which they can operate with greater ease and trust when sending money to their families from abroad. The Controller of Immigration and Emigration, his staff, the officials at the Central Bank and at other relevant banks worked in unison to establish their counters here just within a week. This shows that government institutions can collaborate with the private sector and quickly accomplish any task for the benefit of the country and its people. Our hard-working migrant workforce will enjoy the convenience and reliability of this service. As a result of it, more foreign money will flow into the country and the nation will reap benefits from it.”

Remittances from Sri Lankan foreign workers have been a vital component of Sri Lanka’s foreign currency earnings, boosting the economy as well as the country’s ability to withstand external sector resilience.

Statistics reveal that Sri Lankan foreign workers’ remittances have covered around 80% of the annual trade deficit over the past two decades. Strengthening foreign remittance inflows to the country brings significant socio-economic benefits including the steady supply of forex inflows to the formal banking system, which in turn helps in the smooth functioning of the country’s Banking Industry.

Given the importance of foreign remittances to the country, in early November, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka established a new department named ‘Foreign Remittances Facilitation Department’ to facilitate and streamline workers’ remittances inflows to the country.

People’s Bank Colombo Outer Regional Manager Lal Peiris, Battaramulla Branch Manager Lasantha Ranathunga, bank staff members and customers participated in the occasion.

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