A timely opportunity to save for children in foreign currency has been unveiled by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon with the launch of the ‘Arunalu’ Foreign Currency Minor’s Savings Account.
Savings can be made in four designated currency denominations for children who are Sri Lankan citizens resident in Sri Lanka or for children of Sri Lankan emigrants whose birth is registered in Sri Lanka, the Bank said.
An ‘Arunalu Foreign Currency Minor’s Savings Account’ can be opened at any Commercial Bank branch by the parents, grandparents or legal guardians of children under the age of 15, with a minimum initial deposit of US$ 50 or the equivalent in other designated currencies such as Pounds Sterling, Euros or Australian Dollars. The total accumulated balance in the account can be withdrawn on or after the 18th birthday of the child.
This special scheme has been launched to provide parents with the opportunity to start saving early against the future expenses of their children, especially for higher education in a foreign country, without the risk of being affected by the impacts of the depreciation of the Rupee, the Bank said.
Accepted remittances to this account will include deposits from parents, grandparents and legal guardians alongside transfers from personal foreign currency accounts (PFCA) of parents, grand parents and legal guardians.
When the minor becomes a major (18 years), the Bank will release the saved amount in Sri Lankan Rupees, and in foreign currency for genuine, acceptable reasons such as overseas education and healthcare. The account balance also can be withdrawn before maturity under special circumstances at the discretion of the Bank.
The Arunalu Foreign Currency Minor’s Savings Account is designed as a tool for secure investments in foreign currency that offer better returns and attractive interest rates, the Bank said. It aims to promote foreign currency deposits to the country and provide better investment opportunities to parents earning foreign currency.
The Bank’s flagship Arunalu children’s savings account already offers a higher interest rate over regular savings accounts and rewards account holders with special cash prizes if they score the first, second or third highest aggregate marks in their schools at the Year 5 Scholarship Examination.
Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 12 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 940 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.