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HNB: The 'Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka'

HNB was once again recognised as the 'Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka' for the seventh time by the prestigious ‘The Asian Banker’ at the Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards ceremony held recently in Singapore.

The International Excellence in Retail Financial Services programme is the most rigorous, prestigious and transparent awards programme for retail banking in Asia Pacific, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The programme evaluates over 250 banks in 42 countries in a thorough evaluation process.

The awards programme is built on the premise that an outstanding institution in Retail Banking demonstrates a long term sustainable franchise, based on strong business processes and delivering unparalleled customer service that lead to a consistent and profitable performance. It recognises financial institutions for their vision, execution and market leading propositions that can make a real impact to the bank and its customers.

Asian Banker has cited that the award was bestowed upon HNB based on the resilience demonstrated amidst challenging conditions experienced during the year. In 2014, HNB's rupee current account and savings account (CASA) ratio improved to 47% from 40% in the previous year despite the discontinuation of the flagship lottery scheme while the personal loans recorded an outstanding growth of 83% through a focused sales drive notwithstanding the slowdown in credit growth witnessed by the industry especially during the first half of the year. The Bank was also successful in improving its overall asset quality to the lowest level in the past decade and well below the industry average.

Commenting on the award Jonathan Alles, Managing Director / CEO of HNB PLC stated that "we are delighted to be recognised as the 'Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka' once again. This is a testimony to the strong leadership position HNB has built over the years in the retail space. Our unrelenting efforts to deliver service excellence through our multichannel distribution strategy, continuous focus on product and technology innovation, efforts on driving sales and relationship banking backed by process improvements as well as the dedication of the entire HNB team has enabled us to record a standout performance in 2014".

Thimal Perera, Deputy General Manager- Retail Banking & SME added that "HNB has one of the largest customer centre footprints amongst the banks in Sri Lanka and provides Retail Banking services to each and every segment in the market starting from new borns all the way up to senior citizens. HNB’s focus going forward is to provide convenience through 24x7 accessibility to all our clients through channels and devices of the customer's choice, be it a mobile phone, a computer or our large, strategically located ATM network. Service delivery through digital channels is at the heart of our service proposition and we provide the convenience of a bill payment, a mobile top-up, a money transfer or the purchase of goods and services at the click of a button from the convenience of your home or office or even while on the move".

Hatton National Bank is a premier private sector commercial bank with the largest branch network among private sector commercial banks, spread across the length and breadth of Sri Lanka and caters to all segments of the market through its diverse product and service offering. The Bank is also involved in insurance and capital market operations in the Country through its Group companies. During 2014, the Group assets surpassed Rs 600Bn, while the Group recorded a post-tax profit of over Rs 10Bn for the year. Hatton National Bank has been previously awarded by the Asian Banker Magazine as the ‘Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka' for 6 consecutive years for its performance from 2007 to 2012 and named as the ‘Bank of the Year in Sri Lanka’ for the year 2012 & 2013 by the Banker Magazine of UK. In 2012 HNB became the first Sri Lankan bank to obtain an international credit rating and was assigned a foreign currency issuer rating of B1 on par with the sovereign rating by Moody’s Investors Service, while it has a national long term rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.

Mr Dilshan Rodrigo Chief Operating Officer - HNB with the award. Also in the picture, from left to right, Advisory council members of the Asian Banker Excellence in Retail Financial Services Programme Wilson Chia, Philippe Paillart, Matthias Kroner, Varun Sabhlok and Foo Boon Ping.

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