Maldives central bank extends Commercial Bank opening

A commercial bank branch in Sri Lanka. The bank is set to open a branch in the Maldives.

A commercial bank branch in Sri Lanka. The bank is set to open a branch in the Maldives.

Maldives central bank has extended the deadline to commence operations for the Commercial Bank of Maldives (CBM) from September 15 to 26.

According to an official of Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA), the two-week extension for CBM to commence banking was granted in light of certain difficulties the bank is currently facing.

The official explained that MMA had granted the banking license to CBM on condition that services must commence on September 15.

Local firm Tree Top Investments holds 45 percent of CBM’s shares while the other 55 percent is controlled by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon.

Tree Top Investments was founded jointly by local tycoon Champa Afeef, a few members of his family, Crown Company Maldives and Kasa Holdings Pvt Ltd. The firm is also currently developing a 600-bed hospital in the reclaimed suburb of Hulhumale.

MMA had earlier stated that CBM is authorised to provide all the services of commercial banking.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon had requested permission to open a branch in the Maldives at the end of last September. The bank had opened a branch in Bangladesh in 2003 and established a representative office in Myanmar last June.

The current banks in the Maldives are Bank of Maldives Ltd (BML), Bank of Ceylon, State Bank of India, Habib Bank, HSBC and Mauritius Commercial Bank.

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon had declared last year that they will commence operations with a single branch in the Maldives with plans to expand to three branches within the first five years. In addition to establishment of ATMs, the bank said they will provide the widest range of technological services possible in the Maldives.

CBM will offer personal banking, corporate banking and a range of other services including savings and current accounts, fixed deposits, personal loans, housing loans, credit cards, overdraft, commercial loans, and trade financing services, internet banking, mobile banking, remittance and foreign currency exchange.

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