SDB bank is the apex financial institution of the SANASA Federation, the umbrella organization of over 8000 island-wide primary co-operative societies in Sri Lanka.
First conceptualized in 1990 as an alternative banking partner and main credit institution for the SANASA Federation subsequent to a five-year planning strategy by the SANASA Group of Companies, the SDB bank was licensed and established in 1997 with an initial capital of Rs. 123 million, mainly contributed by primary SANASA Societies.
By our 10th year of operations in 2007, we had expanded our island-wide branch network to 25. With a 10-year development plan in place, SDB went on to increase total assets to Rs. 10 billion, expanding our team numbers to 500, and went on to be recognized for our progress with a National Excellence Award in 2008. With the island-wide network growing to 50 branches in 2009, we also increased our share capital from Rs. 123 million to Rs. 1 billion that same year.
In 2010, SDB was ranked the 2nd best microfinance institution in the world by Mix Market Global USA, an analytical platform delivering key insights into the global financial inclusion sector. At this juncture, our network had expanded to 75 branches across the country. Listed in the Colombo Stock Exchange in 2012, we increased our total assets to Rs. 25 billion in 2013.
In 2014, national financial sector consolidation plans required our then capital base of Rs. 3.3 billion to be increased we opened a rights issue to raise new capital that was immediately oversubscribed. Our asset base increased to Rs. 60 billion by the end of 2015 with a Rs. 4 billion debenture issue and Rs. 5 billion capital base.
In 2017, SDB celebrated 20 years of financing excellence, with a Rs. 82 billion asset base and Rs. 7.3 billion capital base, and received a USD 22 million combined investment from the International Finance Corporation (Member of World Bank Group), and the SBI FMO Fund, a private equity investment fund investing in the financial services and fintech sector in emerging Asia.
Today, with a strong heritage linked to the local co-operative movement with the aim of fostering sustainable economic development, SDB has grown into a network of 94 branches island-wide, provisioning technical assistance, entrepreneurship skills development, IT assistance among many more initiatives. SDB was awarded as the “Fastest Growing MSME Bank in Sri Lanka – 2018” by the Global Banking & Finance Review, UK for being an integral part of our country’s microfinance sector, supporting a broader goal of driving financial inclusion and socio-economic progress, developing sustainable livelihoods and sustainable grassroots communities in Sri Lanka.