Sri Lanka’s largest retail bank, HNB PLC, achieved another important milestone in its transformation journey, after once again securing its ranking in the prestigious UK based- The Banker Magazine’s Top 1,000 World Banks for the fifth year in a row.
The magazine is the world’s premier banking and finance resource, providing global financial intelligence since 1926. The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks ranking has set industry benchmarks since 1970, providing comprehensive intelligence about the health and wealth of the banking sector.
“Over the past year, global and local economic networks have been challenged with unprecedented intensity. In an environment of crisis and constrained economic activity, the impetus for strategic responses that support customers while leveraging technology to deliver banking products and services in new, innovative and – above all – efficient – ways has grown even greater.
“We are proud to state that HNB demonstrated leadership each of these areas while being resilient under extremely challenging conditions. This sustainable performance, financial strength and stability helped us to once again earn our place among the Top 1,000 world banks for the fifth consecutive year. This achievement stands as further validation of our team’s unwavering commitment to excellence,” HNB Managing Director/ CEO Jonathan Alles said.
Notwithstanding the challenging macro conditions, the bank continued to progress on its ambitious transformation journey. HNB’s pivot to digitally-enabled products and services continued to gather momentum, as the bank provided customers with convenient, comprehensive and secure options to transact remotely.
HNB experienced unprecedented growth, especially in the digital payment sector, as Sri Lankans switched to digital banking channels.
Notably, during the past year, the bank also supported the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to promote the ‘Rata Purama LANKA QR’ campaign across various locations to raise awareness and encourage the public towards cashless payments.
Having already linked LANKA QR to its digital payment app HNB SOLO, the bank was among other financial institutions and telecommunication partners in joining efforts to make cashless QR-code based payments the standard for mobile phones and digital payments countrywide, in moving towards a cashless and digitally-savvy Sri Lanka.
Being a true partner in progress, HNB adopted a proactive approach in providing essential support to its network of retail, corporate and Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) clients negatively impacted by the COVID pandemic through moratoriums and working capital finance. Moreover, to finance a grassroots revival of the Sri Lankan economy, the bank launched a COVID relief fund to provide working capital loans at a concessionary interest rate directly to the bank’s substantial portfolio of SME customers. The bank also provided grants to 200 micro entrepreneurs to revive their businesses.
With 252 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks. The bank recorded the highest capital levels and the best non-performing loan ratio amongst peer banks as at end of first quarter 2021. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.
HNB was also declared as the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment. The bank is also ranked among the Top 3 corporates in Sri Lanka by Business Today and among Sri Lanka’s Top 10 Most Admired Companies by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) and International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka (ICCSL).