HNB weathers a challenging year

HNB PLC weathered external headwinds in 2019 to post Rs 15 Bn in Group Profit After Taxes (PAT) and Rs 14 Bn in Bank PAT and remains the best capitalized bank in the sector.

HNB Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody stated that “the year that preceded us has been extremely challenging with global trade friction contributing to a sombre global economic outlook and the unexpected Easter Sunday attack in Sri Lanka precipitating a macro economic slowdown locally. Despite these challenges, the HNB Group displayed noteworthy resilience and continued to focus on the transformation agenda”.

Commenting on the performance in 2019 Mr Jonathan Alles, Managing Director / CEO stated that, “the operating environment necessitated a prudent revision of our aggressive growth plans and making the right choices became a key imperative. We focused our efforts on enhancing the governance structure, credit culture and laying a sustainable framework to improve asset quality. Simultaneously we drove the transformational journey that we embarked upon in May 2018 with much passion. While the impact of many projects will become visible only next year, at the half way point we have garnered success on many fronts, in creating a ‘future ready organisation’. ‘SOLO’ the payment app, rolling out a new branch operating model, significant improvements in turnaround times in delivery and technology upgrades which are in progress are a few such examples”.

Mr. Alles added that “we welcome the measures taken by the Government to drive economic growth by way of supporting the SME sector through moratoriums and believe that the sector should make the best use of these concessions to revive their businesses. The removal of the Debt Repayment Levy, NBT and the reduction in corporate taxes with effect from April 2020, would undoubtedly provide more capacity for the banking sector to support national development. We believe that our renewed focus on enhancing customer experience, building future ready people, systems and processes will enable us to capitalize opportunities and drive sustainable growth”.

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