Appendix 3: Details of the SANASA Movement and the SANASA Development Bank
The SANASA movement has a long history. The Thrift and Credit Cooperatives of Sri Lanka were founded in 1906. For many years they provided basic savings and lending services to its members in rural areas. However, by the 1960s the movement had stagnated, and remained scattered and hidden until they were revitalized in 1978.
In 1978 a National Federation and regional 'District Unions' were formed to support the Primary Societies. This was the start of the development of the national support structures that now include a training centre - the SANASA Campus, a bank - SANASA Development Bank (SDB) that specializes in inter-lending between different primary societies and funding other community development projects, an insurance company that sells insurance through the SANASA Primary Society network and a construction company (SEDCO).
There are now 8400 SANASA Primary Societies in Sri Lanka, already providing basic savings and loans services to 800,000 households, and hence serving approx 2,000,000 people or 10% of the population of Sri Lanka. The majority of these households are in rural areas and surveys have confirmed that they are predominantly from poorer sectors of society. The Primary Societies are cooperatives - they are owned and controlled by the members, not by a central organization. Many have full-time managers.
The national support structure facilitates projects that are implemented in the Primary Societies. These projects include training, society development, community mobilization, support to set up new societies and support in exceptional circumstances, such as the Tsunami.
The SANASA Development Bank now has 14 branches, across the country. Its main customers are community based organizations, such as SANASA societies. It offers traditional financial services, such as deposits and loans, but also helps the community development organizations develop, for example by advising on accounts, possible future directions for the organization and channeling government and international assistance. In addition, the bank offers retail financial services to the general public. Most customers are from less well off sections of the population who already have a loyalty to SANASA. The SANASA Development Bank is owned by the SANASA Primary Societies.
The SANASA Development Bank has been growing steadily since being founded in 1997. From 2005 to 2006 its revenues increased by 39% to Rs362m ($3.6m). Its profits increased by 113% to Rs124m ($1.2m).