Sri Lanka’s most digitally innovative Bank, HNB PLC, announced the launch of its state-of-the-art Centre of Aspiration, a new centralized unit within the Bank dedicated solely to manage the Bank’s debt collection operations.
Situated at the Bank’s Head Office in Colombo 10, the Centre of the Aspiration will now be handling all collections operations that had previously been distributed across 252 branches island-wide. The launch of the HNB Centre of Aspiration follows the recent opening of its Centre of Excellence, another dedicated facility set-up to centralize Credit and Operational processes across the branch network, as part of a wider strategy to centralize its back-end processes. This would strengthen frontline staff efforts to engage in marketing, customer service and networking.
This initiative will add significant value to HNB's vision 2020 aspirations and it's transformational journey, specifically fulfilling its aspirations to have "the most diversified asset portfolio with the lowest NPA" by 2020 according to HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles.
Manned by a team of 60 at first, the Centre of Aspiration is spearheaded by HNB Chief Risk Officer/Assistant General Manager – Risk, Damith Pallewatte. Elaborating on the approach being taken at the Centre of Aspiration, Engaging the customer early in order to remind and follow-up on any upcoming payments or missed payments will positively transform the culture and focus on debt collection within HNB to be more customer centric. He reiterated that early contact, flexibility and consistency supported by the state of the art technology would be fundamental to the success of this unit.
Gracing the launch event was HNB Board Director, Rose Cooray. Addressing the gathering, she highlighted the importance of ensuring skills development in order to keep staff engaged in collections activities which in turn will enable a deeper understanding of customers and an improved ability to meet and exceed expectations. She also emphasized the importance of the Centralized collection unit to continuously improve the quality of the loan book.
Also participating in the launch was HNB Chief Operating Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo and HNB Manager – Centralized Collections, Piyakara Jayarathne who both addressed the gathering on the potential of the new unit to further strengthen the HNB’s bottom-line.
During 2017 the Asian Banker adjudged HNB as the ‘Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka’ for the 9th time while also recognizing as the ‘Best Micro finance Product in the Asia Pacific Region’. The ‘AsiaMoney Magazine’ awarded HNB as the ‘Best Bank for SME’ and the ‘Best Bank for CSR’ in the country’. Most recently, CFA Sri Lanka bestowed HNB with a ‘Bronze’ award for ‘Best Investor Relations’ while HNB’s Annual Report was adjudged to be among the top 10 integrated reports at the CMA Sri Lanka awards 2017. HNB’s leadership in technology was also recognized with the Bank’s ATM network being recognized as the ‘Best ATM Network of the Year’ at the Lanka Pay Technnovation Awards 2017.
HNB is the first local Bank in Sri Lanka to receive an international rating on par with the sovereign from Moody’s Investor Services while maintaining a national long term rating of AA - (lka) from Fitch Ratings Lanka Ltd. HNB is also ranked amongst the top 1000 banks in the world by the prestigious Banker Magazine.
HNB Board Director, Rose Cooray, addressing a gathering at the Centre of Aspiration launch
HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles speaking at the opening of the new Centre of Aspiration
HNB’s Centre of Aspiration staff performing a demonstration to the Senior Officials of HNB