HNB wins Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka four years in a row

Wednesday, 16 March 2011 01:24 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Hatton National Bank has been named the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka in 2010 at the 10th International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards Programme.

The Bank received the award at The International Excellence in Retail Financial Services 2011 Awards ceremony, held in conjunction with the region’s most prestigious retail banking event, the Excellence in Retail Financial Services Convention. The ceremony was held at the Shangri La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on 11 March, 2011.

About 150 senior bankers from award-winning banks in 29 countries across the Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa attended the glittering event that recognises their efforts in bringing superior products and services to their customers.

The awards programme, administered by The Asian Banker and refereed by prominent global bankers, consultants and academics, is the most prestigious of its kind.

A stringent three-month evaluation process based on a balanced and transparent scorecard was used to determine the winners.

Hatton National Bank has had a stellar 2010, with impressive growth in retail deposits, revenues and profits. The year saw it weather the challenges of a low-interest rate environment. The Bank was able to grow its volumes of transactions and deposits, supported by enhancement to its channel capabilities and product offering.

In 2010, Hatton National Bank excelled through improvements in operations, technology and sales and risk management. It expanded its retail presence by introducing new branches in strategic locations, and integrating these branches into its overall banking network.

Its products and services offerings were ramped up, with the introduction of an e-banking platform, and enhancements to mortgage/home loans and vehicle leasing products.  Sales was also a key theme in 2010 as the Bank aimed to get closer to its customers and to address their individual requirements. Despite the aggressive growth strategies implemented by the Bank, it was mindful to keep a check on its risk management practices. A separate risk monitoring and control unit was set up, providing services such as forecasting and risk analytics by various sub-segments within the Bank’s retail banking portfolio.

Chris Kapfer, head of Asian Banker Research, says, “Hatton National Bank has the makings of a market leader in Sri Lanka, with its constant pursuit of excellence in introducing new products, and taking care of and addressing the unique needs and requirements of its customers. Following the changes to the Sri Lankan economy, banks are required to constantly innovate and diversify in order to gain a first-mover advantage, and Hatton National Bank has done exactly that.”

“This year over 170 banks and financial institutions in 29 countries across Asia were evaluated as part of The Excellence in Retail Financial Services Programme in what has become the most prestigious, comprehensive and anticipated awards programme that recognises the pursuit of excellence amongst retail financial institutions anywhere in the world today” said Philippe Paillart, chairman of The International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Programme. He added: “It is amazing to see the rapid development of the retail financial services industry every year, and to experience the narrowing gap between mature and emerging market banks in terms of operational efficiency and technology.”

The transparent award evaluation process uses a balanced scorecard approach and a comprehensive methodology to evaluate the strength of individual banks’ retail banking businesses that involve extensive research and probing interviews, and taps the combined experience of a team of experienced researchers.

Paillart, formerly vice chairman and CEO of DBS Bank and a pioneer in the retail banking industry in the Asia Pacific region, elaborated: “The Asian Banker Excellence Programme was instituted in 2001 on the premise that an outstanding player in the retail financial services industry should build business franchises that are sustainable, competitive and profitable over a period of time. To stay abreast of the rapidly growing geographic scope of the programme, The Asian Banker has renamed the awards ‘The International Retail Financial Services Awards’ in 2011.”