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People’s Bank celebrates its 60th anniversary

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30th June 2021, Colombo:

On the 1stJuly 2021, People’s Bank celebrated its 60th anniversary on 1st of July 2021 marking a period during which it revolutionized the Sri Lankan banking industry by taking innovative banking to touch the lives of even the most grass root level customers who had had been largely overlooked by the industry.

During the past 60 years, the bank has always strived to understand its customers’ needs and was able to use new technology and innovative products to meet those needs. It is this approach that has won them Sri Lanka’s largest customer base of over 14 million.

People’s Bank was established under Act No. 29 of1961 with the aim of uplifting the corporate business and rural banking systems. This Act was submitted to Parliament by then Minister of Trade, Food, Co-operatives and Shipping,T. B. Illangaratne, during the regime of Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike. Vincent Subasinghe was the first Chairman of People’s Bank; he was a pioneer in providing banking services to the corporate sector.

In an era when banking services were limited to English speaking upper end of the society,

It was the establishment of People’s Bank that changed that phenomenon, by starting to work in Sinhala and Tamil. 

Right from the inception, the bank started working towards its mission to serve the masses. Accordingly, People’s Bank has introduced many firsts to the country such as agriculture loans, Pawning, SME loans, Women’s Savings Accounts and Children’s Savings Accounts to name few. Most of these product concepts were so widely embraced by the society, that almost all the local commercial banks are now offering them under different brand names.

Currently, People’s Bank is one of Sri Lanka’s largest financial institutions, boasting over Rs.2.3 trillion in assets. Its network of 741 branches/service centres is the country’s largest. The bank also possesses a network of over 250 Self Banking Units operating 24/7 all 365 days of the year. This enormous network has enables the people to get their banking done safely, securely and with ease of accessibility.

Speaking at a 60th anniversary celebratory event, the Chairman of the People’s Bank Mr. Sujeewa Rajapakse stated “Marking a turning point in the Sri Lanka banking sector, People’s Bank was established on 1st July 1961. Today, we celebrate the 60th anniversary with much pride. As a reputed state bank, People’s Bank not only provides state-of-the-art financial facilities but also renders their services to uplift the social economy. As a state bank, People’s Bank’s objectives transcend beyond mere profits and the main focus has always been the country’s development. Hence many a time we have provided financial facilities for exports, education, health, expressways and tourism infrastructure.

People’s Bank has always come forward to shoulder the societal responsibilities and even the current COVID-19 pandemic is no different. We are very much a part of this nation and this is why the country in turn considers us as the pride of the nation”.

 Ranjith Kodituwakku – Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, People’s Bank also commented “From the inception, People’s Bank was open to the common man instead of just one strata of the society. Although the bank was catering the mass market, that did not prevent it from being innovative and technology oriented. This is why People’s Bank expanded rapidly in terms of network, financial performance, product portfolio and brand value. Furthermore, People’s Bank has greatly supported the country’s socio-economic development. People’s Bank continues to introduce new banking technology to the financial sector and to its customers in order to establisher stronger relationships with them. We look to pioneer modern banking solutions in the future as well”.

 

While the bank initially focused on rural sectors and cooperative movements, since then the bank has evolved and is currently offering a range of products to support their customer’s standards of living. The loan schemes on offer include, Personal Loans, Housing Loans, Professional Loans, Educational Loans and Vehicle Loans. Furthermore, People’s Bank from time to time has introduced special loans schemes to assist farming and fishing communities especially to revive the country’s economy after challenging times.

 

Adapting to the modern world, the People’s Bank launched a digital banking project in 2015, to ensure that their customers could transact easily, safely and efficiently. People’s Bank was the first bank in the island that took steps to undertake a comprehensive digital transformation project covering major part of its operations. As a result People’s Bank now provides a world class digital banking experience to all its customers.

 

For example, People’s Bank has enabled customers to open an account paperless in as short a time as 10 minutes. As another key component of the digitization journey, People’s Bank introduced People’s Wave mobile banking App for customers to transact any time of the day using their mobile phone without having to go to a bank branch and this has become the most downloaded app in Sri Lanka. Also, People’s Wiz Loan Originating System has enabled the bank to grant personal loans within 24-hours.

 

In addition, a mobile app was specially introduced to institutional customers called People’s Wyn. Online banking facilities targeting both retail and corporate customers were introduced in 2018.

 

In recognition of the unparallel contribution made by the People’s Bank towards betterment of the country, banking industry and customers, it has been recognized with many an award both locally and internationally over last several years. Recently the Bank won multiple awards from leading institutes such as The Asian Banker magazine (Sri Lanka’s Best Retail Bank & Sri Lanka’s Best Digital Bank in 2021″ and Asia Money magazine (Best Domestic Bank and Best Digital Bank in Sri Lanka in 2020). Additionally, The Banker Magazine named People’s Bank as one of the top 1000 banks. Locally, People’s Bank has won “Banking Services Provider of the Year” award at SLIM Nielson awards for 15 consecutive years.



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Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan owned company to receive FAMI-QS certification

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Farmchemie has obtained FAMI-QS certification being the first Sri Lankan owned company certified with FAMI-QS. FAMI-QS stands for Feed Additive and pre-MIxture Quality System, which compromises the safety of animal feed and the quality of processed goods in accordance with European regulation no. 183/2005 on animal feed. Farmchemie is a BOI approved leading manufacturer and exporter of animal feed additives and nutritional supplements in Asia. Farmchemie is equipped with a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility from Bühler, Switzerland to offer quality assured manufacturing services for world-renowned European brands as well as own brands under Farmstar. Farmchemie has already established their presence in numerous international markets such as India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kuwait, Lebanon, UAE, Egypt, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Cambodia and Uganda. FAMI-QS will enable them to expand their markets including the European and USA.

“We are honoured to announce that Farmchemie becomes the first Sri Lankan-owned company to be certified with FAMI-QS in combination with ISO 9001: 2015 and Good Manufacturing Practices certification for animal feeding. By attaining FAMI-QS, we are able to anticipate the expectations of our clients for safe, high-quality goods by lowering the related risk and enhancing the quality of onsite feeds via a supply chain that is properly guaranteed. For that Farmchemie implements measures for Feed Fraud and Feed Defense according to FAMI-QS supply chain integrity module V2. We would like to express our heartfelt appreciation to our customers and suppliers for their continued support and dedication. We look forward to elevating the firm to new heights in the coming months and years, as our aims will always be centered on quality assurance and innovative manufacturing.” Managing Director Uditha Wanigasinghe stated.

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Exports Gold Award for Textrip

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Textrip Pvt Ltd, the export arm of the Elasto Group, was recently recognized, as the gold award winner for rubber and rubber-based products, medium scale category at the NCE Export Awards ceremony held recently in Colombo. The Chairman and Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera accepted the award at the gala event held at Shangri La Hotel. The national export awards ceremony, organized by the National Chamber of Exporters (NCE), recognizes and rewards Sri Lankan exporters on their performance in the international market.

“We always strive to manufacture high-quality rubber-based goods, using the latest technology, adhering to the highest international standards, and showcasing Sri Lanka on the global stage. I would like to thank our clients, locally and internationally for their continuous trust and my staff for their hard work and dedication. They are the pillars of our success,” Managing Director of Elasto Group, Mangala Gunasekera stated. Textrip products have obtained a number of national and international quality standards such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015, CET, REACH and their products are designed to adhere to the ‘Wellness Wisdom’ theme. The company works with over 100 top sports and wellness brands and exports to more than 30 countries including European countries and the United States. TEXSTRETCH Progressive Exercise Resistance Bands is one of the most popular products of the company. The product is a great full-body workout solution for users of any level.

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Sri Lanka Tourism returns to Spanish market after pandemic

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Spain is one of the fastest recovery markets for Sri Lanka Tourism after the pandemic and participation in FITUR argues well for the much-needed exposure for Sri Lanka as an attractive tourism destination for Spanish-speaking countries, contributing in a substantive manner to its overall growth strategy. Sri Lanka Tourism made the presence with the 28 private sector companies at 43rd edition of FITUR International Travel Mart which was held from 18- 22 January 2023, Madrid, Spain. FITUR is the largest tourism event in the Spanish Market where all the sectors leisure, business and MICE tourism meet under one roof.

Sri Lanka Tourism stall was ceremonially opened by Mr.Chalaka Gajabahu ,Chairman of Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau and Honorary Consul of Sri Lanka in Barcelona, Mr. Agustin Llana and representatives of the leading private sector members of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka was able to attract high level of attention from the trade and travel visitors attended at the event. The Sri Lanka pavilion highlighted many aspects of its potential culture, beauty, Ayurveda and many more which Sri Lanka would offer as a tourism destination. Sri Lanka stand optimized the “So Sri Lanka” and “Visit Sri Lanka” vivid sights to attract the potential visitor segments. At the Sri Lanka pavilion, Ceylon tea was served for the visitors with a view of promoting Ceylon tea in the Spanish market.

On the sideline of the FITUR travel fair, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Burau officials participated at the events organized by the UNWTO. During the events, SLTPB officials met with the Mr.Harry Hwang , Director of Regional Department for Asia and the Pacific, UNWTO.As a result of discussions, Mr.Harry Hwang has shown the interest to hold the UNWTO Joint commission in Sri Lanka in 2024.

Meantime, the SLTPB and Sri Lanka Embassy of France also took steps to arrange Business Meetings, exclusive media interviews, Air Line meetings at the FITUR 2023. The Media gathering conducted during the fair created the great opportunity to highlight the updates on the destination and create awareness on the destination.

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