Hatton National Bank PLC (HNB) demonstrated resilience and an unwavering focus on sustainable business performance as it posted Rs 13.7 Bn in Group Profit After Tax during 2020, a year laden with unprecedented circumstances and challenges. Bank level Profit After Taxes amounted to Rs 11.5 Bn
Commenting on the performance, chairman of HNB Dinesh Weerakkody stated that “2020 has been a year unlike any other in recent memory as the COVID-19 Pandemic transformed the socioeconomic landscape dramatically, elevating uncertainty and risks at every level, both locally and globally. We proved our ability to adjust rapidly as we leveraged technology and adapted to the new normal, sharing the responsibility to stay safe as well as keep our communities safe and empowered. “
He added that “even before the onset of the pandemic, our economy was adversely affected due to the Easter Sunday bombings of 2019. The onset of the pandemic aggravated our economic woes, straining cash flows, at Individual, Entity and National levels while paving the way for a disruptive transformation that vaulted us to a new era of exciting possibilities.
“At HNB, we have reset our agenda and will continue to do so going forward, embedding the new-found speed and agility into our ways of working and identify the best ways to respond, making sure we sustain such best practices in our operations. Unlike ever before, we, as a leading bank, have a crucial role to play in the task of restoring and supporting the livelihoods of our communities.”
Jonathan Alles, Managing Director/CEO of the Bank commenting on the performance stated that “in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we reprioritised our focus to ensure that we navigate the uncertainties and risks effectively to safeguard the interests of all our stakeholders. Health and safety, business sustainability and supporting the customers in need were at the core.”
He added that “our dedicated team of 4,800+ members rallied around together to provide the much needed financial relief and banking needs despite lockdowns. During the first phase we provided debt moratoria to customers covering approximately 40% of our loan book. With lockdowns being limited to few localities during the second wave of the pandemic and most industries recommencing their operations, the moratoria extended under the second phase has reduced to approximately 15% of the loan book which is a positive sign for the economy. We also extended working capital finance of over Rs 24Bn to affected sectors at concessionary interest rates under the CBSL relief scheme.”
CBSL and IFC launch National Financial Inclusion Strategy
Sri Lanka’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) aunched recently, aims to make financial services more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all households and businesses in the country.
The NFIS is a joint effort led by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka—with technical and financial assistance from IFC, a member of the World Bank Group—under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program. The development of this strategy was a multi-stakeholder effort supported by the government of Sri Lanka.
“The National Financial Inclusion Strategy symbolizes our country’s commitment towards a better and inclusive Sri Lanka that will benefit all individuals and enterprises. I believe this strategy will complement the Government’s efforts to minimize the provincial income disparities, urban-rural inequalities, and to promote inclusive growth,” said Mahinda Rajapaksa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.
“More importantly, this strategy prioritizes future generations, having identified financial literacy as a key pillar. The proposal to strengthen the national curriculum in this area is a positive step. Investing in the education of our younger generation is the most significant investment we can make as a nation, as this will be a particularly helpful approach to the systematic correction of the financial habits of Sri Lankans,” the Prime Minister said.
HNB – Havelock City partnership offers exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility
HNB PLC has partnered with Havelock City mixed-use development project to offer prospective homeowners of state-ofthe-art luxury apartments in Stratford and Melford Towers (Phase 3 – COC certified) and Peterson and Edmonton Towers (Phase 4) with the exclusive Ezy Pay Home Loans facility.
The partnership is set to offer customers the unprecedented opportunity to make a payment of only 20% and immediately occupy the limited units available in Phase 3 of the project or invest in apartments available in Phase 4, scheduled to be completed by May 2021. Further, Havelock City will take on the customer’s interest payment for one year.
“We have witnessed an increase in the demand for apartments and are aware that there is a limited stock of units available in the heart of Colombo. Therefore, we hope that this partnership with Havelock City will offer our customers looking to invest in a home of their own the facility to either move into an apartment immediately or invest in a home of their dreams,” HNB Head of Personal Financial Services, Kanchana Karunagama said.
Prospective homeowners can make use the bank’s flexible repayment options, such as the Step-up facility, which offers a repayment option in line with the customers evolving income. Customers can also obtain a maximum repayment period of 25 years for the loan facility for an attractive interest rate starting from just 7%.
DPL lends a hand to children in Monaragala Rubber Farming Communities
As part of its ongoing efforts to empower and uplift the livelihood of its farmer co-operative societies, Dipped Products PLC (DPL) distributed school bags to the children of 1,500 smallholder rubber farmers for the 10th consecutive year, under its flagship Firstlight CSR project.
This year’s distribution recorded the largest donation of school bags, which was nearly a two-fold increase from the previous year, bringing the total value of the distribution up to nearly Rs. 1 million.
Taking place at the Pinwatta Bodimalu Viharaya in Medagama, Monaragala, this latest distribution marks the Company’s continued efforts to support the smallholder rubber farming communities, by ensuring that their essential needs are looked after.
“Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, with the nation facing significant challenges and hardships, it is truly touching to see the positive impact which we continue to have on the underprivileged smallholder rubber farming communities. We believe that programmes like Firstlight hold the key to enhancing the livelihoods of our 1500-strong rubber farmers, providing them with an improved quality of life, whilst paving the way to open up new opportunities and a brighter future. This is why, with the enthusiastic response we have received over the years, we have now also expanded this school bag distribution to include the District of Kegalle,” Dipped Products Deputy Managing Director, Pushpika Janadheera said.
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