Special Correspondent

Mutually beneficial arrangement to benefit customers

Thiruvananthapuram: The South Indian Bank (SIB) has signed an MoU with the Hatton National Bank (HNB) for the exchange of expertise and services for the convenience of customers in India and Sri Lanka.

The MoU was signed here recently by SIB managing director and chief executive officer V.A. Joseph and HNB managing director Rajendra Theagarajah. SIB executive director Abraham Thariyan and HNB chief representative B.K. Achan were also present.

The MoU sets a framework for the institutions to enter into a mutually beneficial arrangement to offer banking services to their respective customers. This would help in advising and confirming Letters of Credit, negotiating/discounting of export/import bills and providing credit reports of customers, a press release issued here said.

In terms of pure synergy, this move is a step towards larger customer servicing as the customers of SIB can effect hassle-free remittances to India through the representative offices of HNB in the U.S. Canada and Germany. The customers of HNB can utilise the services of Hadi Express Exchange for which management support is being provided by SIB.

Mr. Joseph, in his address, referred to the Free Agreement (FTA) signed between India and Sri Lanka in 1998 which resulted in an up-swing in bilateral economic and commercial ties. “In the last ten years, our bilateral trade grew manifold and India emerged as the largest trade partner of Sri Lanka,” he said. “This MoU (between SIB and HNB) is expected to foster bilateral, economic and commercial relations of India and Sri Lanka,” he said.

The PAN Service Agency (PSA) arrangement of the SIB would be initially started in 25 select branches and would be a value added service. This was to avoid a cut of 20 per cent for every disbursement in the absence of PAN for bank customers.