Citizens Development Business Finance


Citizens Development Business Finance (CDB) is a Non-Bank Financial Institution (NBFI) specialized in vehicle leasing. It was incorporated in 1995 and became a public deposit taking institution in May 2009. CDB’s business model is one of urban funding and rural and bottom of the pyramid lending. The company’s strategy is to provide a range of financial products to the rural community.

With its USD 6 million loan in local currency BIO is the first Development finance institute to provide funding in local currency to a Sri Lanka finance company. CDB published a press release on the importance of this first foreign local currency funding, you can read it here.

Through this investment, BIO supports the growth of CDB oriented towards offering loan products to rural, micro and small entrepreneurs who are underserved today as commercial banks tend to serve the higher end of the SME market. The loan enables the financial institution to reduce its maturity gap as it is today essentially funded by deposits.

Furthermore, BIO has noted a lack of social and environmental monitoring of the clients, and is assessing a technical assistance program subsidy.

The company is one of the fastest growing NBFI in Sri Lanka thanks to its past investments in new branches and distribution channels. CDB employs over 850 people and has 44 branches of which 21 are targeting rural areas outside Western Province. Western province generates 50% of the country’s GDP, but 70% of the population lives outside Western Province and has less access to financial services.

Today, micro and small entrepreneurs in Sri Lanka, especially in the provinces outside Western Province do not have sufficient access to loan products. Offering financial services including financing, savings products, remittances services and foreign exchange services to these enterprises impacts the size of their activities, generates employment and impacts the development of the economy. As the Sri Lanka economy is recovering after its long period of war, sectors such as agriculture, construction, financial services and tourism will be the most important drivers of the economy. The bottom of the pyramid type of clients of CDB will be able to benefit from the economic recovery using CDB’s financing products as a leverage.

CDB concentrates on vehicle leasing, especially on the well-known three wheeler (3W) leasing. As three wheelers are very common ways of transportation in Sri Lanka, cheaper than cars and more convenient than 2 wheelers, they are very successful. They are used a lot for taxi purposes and in rural areas they are used for transportation of agricultural proceeds, or for other small business purposes, and to serve multiple families in their day to day lives. For self-employed people, they are a very easy instrument to get access to asset backed financing.

CDB aims at being a total financial provider, offering similar products as commercial banks to bottom of the pyramid types of clients. Next to its lending products, other financial products such as money exchange and money transfer services are offered. Last year, CDB has launched a rural savings product encouraging clients in rural areas to save. New loan products in the area of housing, business and personal loans have been launched as well.. CDB is also very proud to be the first NBFI in Sri Lanka to have launched VISA Debit Cards earlier this year. This product will allow clients to withdraw money anywhere in the country and abroad.


  • Investment amount (€):

    € 9.49 M

    Leasing Company

  • Contract signature :


  • Nature of intervention :


  • Development impacts :

    • 1 — Local economic growth
    • 2 — Financial inclusion
    • 3 — Promotion of ESG best practices

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