Since inception, HNB was engaged in rural lending. In 1973, the bank in collaboration with a consortium of private sector companies under the name of "Agrohope", engaged in agricultural lending and a village adoption programme under the Debara-ara-wewa Scheme in the Moneragala district. It was financed by the bank through the Bandarawela branch.
During the period 1975 to 1978, our bank participated in a loan scheme with Ceylon Tobacco Co. Ltd to assist small farmers in growing tobacco in the Anuradhapura district. A mobile banking service operated in the area for disbursement and recovery of loans, thereby taking banking to the farmers' doorstep.
In 1977 Hatton National Bank PLC commenced participating in the Comprehensive Rural Credit Scheme (CRCS) of the Central Bank with a package of financial assistance to the agricultural sector.
With the Government accelerated Mahaweli Development Scheme, HNB was invited in 1979 to participate in the pilot project in the H5 Area of the Mahaweli Scheme. The scheme covered an area of 12,500 acres of irrigated land allocated to 5,000 farmer settlers. In the Central and Uva Provinces, the bank channels a significant portion of its lending to Nuwara Eliya, Welimada and Bandarawela branches for cultivation of potato and vegetables.
To handle Rural Credit schemes, the Bank has recruited staff who are qualified in the field of agriculture and specialised in agri-lending and rural development sector activities.
Since 1979, the Bank has been recognised by foreign funding agencies such as the World Bank and ADB, which have accepted it as a participating credit institution for their refinance schemes. Today, the Bank is involved in promoting rural sector refinance and non-refinance credit lines and provides comprehensive packages of financial services to develop the country's rural economy.