HNB PLC, Sri Lanka’s most innovative bank, successfully concluded the country’s first-ever hybrid virtual annual general meeting (AGM) on 29 May. The 51st AGM was hosted at the HNB Towers auditorium and conference room in addition to being streamed live for shareholders over Microsoft Teams.
In total, over 100 HNB shareholders registered to participate at the meeting and up to 50 of them were in attendance at HNB Towers, after practicing social distancing and intensive hygiene and sanitisation measures at the bank’s headquarters, in compliance with all directives of health authorities to protect attendees against the transmission of COVID-19.
Notably close upon 30 shareholders were also able to view and participate in proceedings, including voting on matters tabled in the agenda via Microsoft Teams.
“From its inception, HNB has always placed a strong emphasis on innovation and technological transformation as a means of enhancing agility, while also developing deeper relationships with all stakeholders. Our hosting of the country’s first hybrid virtual AGM is another great example of this commitment in action.
“These traits have served to improve our resilience, diversify our products, and improve our service delivery in an increasingly complex industry. These strategies were also instrumental in securing Rs. 15 billion in annual Group Profit After Tax despite an extremely challenging operating environment,” HNB MD and CEO Jonathan Alles stated.
All attendees were able to view and participate in proceedings – either in person or virtually – including the ability to vote on decisions taken. Resolutions for the meeting and voting were conducted via the secure chat function of Microsoft Teams. The votes were then collated and projected on screen and announced by HNB Chairman Dinesh Weerakkody.
The Q&A session followed accepted processes for participants physically present at the event, while questions from online participants were forwarded to the Chairman and company Secretary, who in turn directed it to the relevant panellist.
Specialists in event management AV Productions coordinated with the Legal, IT and Marketing teams of the bank for the event.
With 251 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks having to lead the Business Today Top 10, and claiming seven awards at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2019. The first Sri Lankan bank to obtain an international credit rating, HNB was assigned a rating of B1 by Moody’s Investors Service.