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HNB appoints Sanjay Wijemanne as its new Chief Operating Officer

Sri Lanka’s largest private sector retail bank, Hatton National Bank PLC appointed Sanjay Wijemanne as the bank’s new Chief Operating Officer (COO) with effect from 26th April 2024, subject to relevant regulatory clearances. 

A banking industry veteran with more than 29 years of experience, including more than 14 years of corporate management exposure, Wijemanne previously served as HNB’s Deputy General Manager - Retail Banking Group, and brings with him a wealth of technical industry expertise, and deep insight into modern banking.

"Sanjay's appointment as COO underscores our commitment to business excellence and our dedication to adapting proactively to the evolving needs of our customers and the wider economic landscape. His proven expertise and forward-thinking approach are crucial for driving our strategic initiatives, and delivering exceptional value and service in an increasingly competitive and dynamic environment,” HNB Acting CEO, Damith Pallewatte said.

Holding a B.Sc. in Business and Finance from Mount Saint Mary’s University, USA, Wijemanne possesses extensive exposure in local and global banking institutions.

Commencing his career as a financial analyst, Wijemanne went on to join HNB as a Management Trainee where he gained broad exposure in all aspects of core banking functions, and steadily rose through the ranks into the corporate banking unit.

He went on to serve in key leadership positions at multiple international banks where he further developed his expertise in banking verticals including Branch Banking, Custody, Network Management, Sales and Business Development. Joining HSBC’s Senior Management Team, Wijemanne served as Head of Sales, Head of Branches – including Premier Banking.

He was subsequently selected to head up pivotal roles at Standard Chartered Bank, where he served as General Manager – Premium Banking, Branch Sales & Services, and General Manager – Wealth Management Value Center, and ultimately as Country Head of Retail Banking in 2011 joining the Corporate Management Team, reporting to Bangladesh, India, and Singapore. His tenure culminated in local and global recognition in Retail Banking, which he carried over to his role at HNB, which has consistently been recognized as Sri Lanka’s Best Retail Bank.

"I am honoured to step into the role of Chief Operating Officer at HNB, a position that not only challenges me but also offers the opportunity to significantly contribute to our bank's legacy of innovation and customer satisfaction. I look forward to working closely with Damith and the HNB team to help achieve our shared vision for our organization, our industry and our nation,” Wijemanne said.  

He also serves as a Director at Acuity Stockbrokers (Pvt) Ltd, Acuity Partners (Pvt) Ltd, and HNB General Insurance Ltd, and is a former Director at Lanka Pay (Pvt) Ltd.

With 254 customer centres, HNB stands as one of Sri Lanka's largest and most technologically innovative private banks. Having been recognized as the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 14th year at the Asian Banker Global Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2024, HNB continues to solidify its reputation in the sector. Additionally, the bank has been honoured with prestigious awards, including Best Market Leader in Trade Financial Services at the renowned Euromoney Awards for Excellence in 2024, highlighting its excellence in service, market leadership, and commitment to sustainable banking practices.