Sri Lanka’s largest private sector retail bank, HNB PLC, had its National Long-Term Rating revised upward to 'AA+(lka)' with a negative outlook, subsequent to a recalibration of country ratings scales by Fitch Ratings.
As a result of the recalibration, HNB’s rating was revised upward by two notches, placing it amongst the top rated Sri Lankan banks. The negative outlook assigned to this category by Fitch is in alignment with the negative outlook on the sovereign and the operating environment of Sri Lanka.
“We believe this upward revision of HNB’s National Long Term Rating is a reflection of HNB’s relative strength in this unprecedented volatile environment. The disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are still reverberating through every segment of the Sri Lankan economy,” HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles stated.
During the COIVD lockdown, HNB was among the first and most active in ensuring that customers island-wide were able to access essential banking and transactional services through a strong emphasis on digital banking as well as innovative solutions such as SOLO, MOMO and AppiGo.
Similarly, the Bank was also proactively engaged with customers in order to restructure lending facilities to support individuals and enterprises facing financial difficulties due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
“Given the fact that HNB is one of the best capitalised banks in the island, our strong focus on digital banking and our unwavering commitment to support our customers during their time of need, we are strategically positioned to weather the current crisis and also play an active role in revitalising Sri Lanka’s economy from the grassroots up”
The bank’s Tier I and Total Capital ratios as at the end of 31st March 2020 stood at 13.85% and 17.25% respectively, well above the regulatory minimum requirements.
HNB was adjudged the Number One business entity among top Sri Lankan corporates by Business Today and has been receiving continuous praise for its pioneering initiatives across the entire spectrum of its operations. The Bank was judged 'Best Managed Bank in Sri Lanka by the prestigious Asian Banker Magazine while the Bank's Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles was conferred with the Asian Banker' CEO Leadership Achievement' award. Among its several accolades, HNB was declared 'Sri Lanka's Best Bank' for 2019 by Euromoney Magazine for the third time, in addition to being ranked among the World Top 1000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UKbased, Banker magazine, further strengthening its status as Sri Lanka's pre-eminent private sector bank. Recently, HNB was recognised among the ‘Top 10 Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka’ by the International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). HNB's remarkable track record of excellence secured it the first place ranking ahead of all Sri Lankan banks included in the LMD Top 100 Club – a position which was evaluated based on its performance over the past 25 years.